Written by Student Assistant Linnea Lico '15
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Kiara Burkett (KB) shares with Santa Clara Broncos (SCB) her unique experience as a transfer from CSU Bakersfield and how she will transfer the skills that she learned there to be successful playing soccer at Santa Clara University.
SCB: Why did you decide to transfer to SCU?
KB: Growing up in nearby Santa Cruz, I have always been aware of the storied program here at Santa Clara. As a teen, one of my club coaches was former SCU standout Devvyn Hawkins. I also spent a brief time playing for another SCU alum, Erin Montoya (Martinez), at MVLA. Both of these coaches shared with me their experiences here under Coach Smith. Combined with the soccer history is a tremendous educational tradition. When I had the chance to come to SCU, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. Being able to have my family come watch me play is a nice bonus as well.
SCB: What will you take from your experience playing at CSU Bakersfield that you will bring to SCU?
KB: I learned a great deal in my season playing for CSU-Bakersfield, but a few things stand out. First, I learned to be adaptable on the field and to fit my game into whatever role my coaches need me to fill. Initially I was recruited to CSUB to play outside back. However, due to a lack of attacking options, I was frequently asked to move forward into a more attacking outside mid/wing forward role. Secondly, I learned how to handle the adversity that comes from not winning as much as you'd like. We were a young program with a young coach, and still working through making the transition from Division II to Division I. Lastly, due to some common opponents with SCU, I knew that I could come here and compete.
SCB: Are there any pregame rituals or routines that you have?
KB: I'm afraid my pre-game routine is not very unique. I start the night before by making sure I eat a healthy dinner, hydrate and get plenty of sleep. The most important thing the next day is that I continue to hydrate. Finally, a couple of hours before our game I go over my notes from our meetings and practice. My notes help to remind me of the little things I want to be aware of during the game. Of course I also listen to a little music to get me pumped up. I have a playlist specifically for game day!
SCB: How do you stay in shape during the off-season?
KB: Typically I spend a good part of my off-season at home in Santa Cruz. Doing so allows me to train daily with my long-time trainer, Kelvin Nivens. Kelvin definitely gave me the foundation necessary for competing at the collegiate level. This summer was different in that I chose to stay and take a summer session chemistry class here at SCU. Being here at SCU also allowed me to check in regularly with our trainer, Daniel Hicker, and make sure I was doing all I could to be ready for camp. I was also able to spend some time on the ball with my teammates that were here as well.
SCB: What drew you to the position of midfielder?
KB: Actually, I am primarily an outside back. I think I got listed as a midfielder at CBS-Bakersfield because that is where then ended up moving me. I like outside back because I get to do a little bit of everything. I get to do a lot of one-on-one defending. I get to deal with a variety of different attacking players and the various threats they specifically pose. Depending on our formation and tactics, I get to push forward and widen our attack. However, I have a long history of being plugged in to just about any position based on the needs of our team. I look forward to helping SCU find success this season in any way the coaching staff feels that I can contribute. We have an amazing team here at Santa Clara, and I am so blessed to be apart it. I am really excited to see where this season takes us, we have so much potential and it's an amazing group girls.