SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Katie Speidel (KS) has been an integral player in her last two seasons for the women's soccer team. This past fall, she appeared in all 21 games and made five starts. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) took a moment to talk with Speidel about her training for the upcoming season and some of her favorite memories so far.
- Kaitlin Fuelling, '13
SCB: Congrats on a great season this past fall. How are you training and preparing for this next fall?
KS: Thank you very much. Unfortunately, I am injured at the moment so I am unable to train with my team. I dislocated my shoulder during the season and had surgery on it in the middle of December, but I am working hard to get back out there with the girls. It has been a blessing, in a way, to be forced to the sidelines because I have been able to see the team from a different perspective. These past two months have consisted of lifting, conditioning, testing and a little bit of technical work, which is one of the most physically strenuous periods of our year. That being said, I cannot explain how proud I am of my teammates for their effort and improvement thus far and the coaching staff for all of their effort and support. Every single girl has been encouraging and helping each other, working their hardest to better themselves for the team. For example, during the beep testing this past week, girls that had already run in an earlier group were running again beside their teammates to push them farther, and believe me when I say that is not an easy thing to do. I'm so proud of where our team is right now and I cannot wait until I am able to join them on the field again in two months.
SCB: What is your favorite memory of this past season?
KS: One of my favorite memories of this past season was our final NCAA game against Stanford. Even though we lost 2-1, it showed how much our team had improved over the year and that our first game against Stanford was definitely not a testament of our team's potential. It was awesome to see all of the girls working for each other and even though we didn't win, every girl on the field left knowing that they gave it all. No one can ask for more than that.
SCB: When did you start to play soccer? Do you have any good memories from when you played as a child?
KS: I started playing AYSO when I was four or five and began club soccer when I was seven on an U-9 team. I have been on the same club team as Alyson Birgel, one of our junior midfielders. She has been one of my very closest friends since I started club soccer and we have made so many memories over the years together. Our club team was fortunate enough to travel a lot to State, Regional and National tournaments all over the country and the girls were so closely knit that it was always a blast to travel together. I have so many memories from hotel rooms, vans on the way to the field, and especially from playing together. I miss those girls a lot, but it is a blessing to be able to become part of a new team at Santa Clara that is just as close to create new memories.
SCB: What do you like to do outside of soccer and school?
KS: I love being at the beach and always doing something fun outside with my friends. I love to hike, camp out and go fishing, especially with my family. Honestly, anything that involves being with my friends and my family is something that I really enjoy doing.
SCB: What is your favorite restaurant or meal?
KS: My favorite foods are probably steak and lobster (very expensive taste, I know). I am a little biased, but between my mom and my grandmother, I was spoiled with the best food anyone could ask for. I was raised with the most incredible home-cooked meals, made by mom, every single night. My mom's cooking is half the reason I love going home so much! Oh, and I REALLY like ice cream too!
SCB: What has been the toughest part about being a student-athlete?
KS: I think the toughest part is being separated from regular student life due of our schedule. More often than not, we aren't able to go to fun events, especially during the day, because we either have practice or a game the next day that we have to prepare for. A lot of our time is dedicated to managing our sport and school, instead of our social life, which can be tough sometimes. I think most of us wish we had more similar schedules with other students to get to know them better.
SCB: Why did you select Santa Clara University?
KS: Santa Clara had a friendly and family/community-oriented feel to it and I felt at home event the first time I visited the campus. The campus couldn't be more beautiful; the academics are very rigorous and well renowned with an incredible outplacement system; and of course, I saw myself fitting into the SCU soccer program. I am so happy here and I would make the same decision 100 times over.
SCB: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
KS: I would probably say Greece. I have been lucky enough to travel to France, Italy, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Mexico and Canada with my family and my grandparents. They love to travel and my parents, brother and I have been lucky enough to be able to go with them to a variety of places. Due to our demanding schedule, we aren't really able to study abroad during our four years here, but I plan to travel for a few months after I graduate to really experience new cultures and experience as much as I can before grad school and the "real world"!
SCB: I notice you are from Southern California, so how would you rank Northern vs. Southern California?
KS: That is such a tough question because I love so many different things about both places. I was born in Santa Monica and have always lived in Southern California, so I have so many memories from there. My favorite place to be is at the beach and Southern California has plenty of those, so I have always loved that. That being said, I really like the Northern California atmosphere and the vibe that I get from the people that live here. People seem to be much more relaxed and laid back, but very hard-working at the same time. Santa Clara's location, in Silicon Valley, sparks a lot of competition in academics and job opportunities, so it is really great to see that mixture and to be a part of both places.
SCB: What is something Santa Clara may not know about you?
KS: Well two things that I am passionate about outside of soccer are music and art. I always have my headphone in, usually listening to country music (the artist Eric Church is the love of my life), but I enjoy all types of music. I have also been into art ever since I was little, ranging from painting to ceramics to glasswork and so on. I used to work with glass in high school for four years, which was a totally new medium to dive into and I absolutely loved it. Art history and art in general have always been a fun and stress-free learning experience for me.