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Behind Kerri Skotnicki, soccer captain

Many successful athletes have had parents involved throughout their athletic career such as Kevin Durant, who was this year’s NBA MVP.

Another athlete that has had her parents right behind her is the captain of Augustana’s soccer team, Kerri Skotnicki.

Skotnicki started playing soccer for the Aurora Park District when she was five years old with her father as her coach. She moved on to club soccer. The first club team she played for was also her last, and she won the State Championship twice in high school.

Skotnicki’s father has not only impacted her athletic career but her academic and professional career, as well. A biology with pre-nursing major, Skotnicki cites her father as the reason why she chose this path.

“I grew up around my dad, who is a paramedic and firefighter, helping people,” Skotnicki said. “I love the hospital setting a lot, and I never wanted an office job.”

She received verification of this being what she wanted to do on her student service learning trip to Nicaragua, where she learned and gained experience.

“My dad has been a huge support of me playing soccer, and he likes to see me play. My parents throughout my soccer career haven’t missed a single game,” Skotnicki said. “Last year we went to Washington State to play two games, and my mom went to watch me play.”

Not only did her parents support her in her soccer career but also in her recruitment and college decision.

Augustana Head varsity soccer coach Scott Mejia was one of the coaches that pushed for Skotnicki to play on his team the hardest, but Skotnicki attended other schools before making her choice to attend Augustana.

“I was recruited really heavily to come here by Scott Mejia,” said Skotnicki. “I visited a bunch of other campuses and was recruited by a bunch of other schools, as well.”

In choosing Augustana, Skotnicki cites the fact that Augustana had something that no other campus had at her visit.

“I went with my mom, and I loved this campus although it was a little small,” Skotnicki said. “Also, all the other visits that I went to the weather was rain; so, I thought it as a sign to choose Augustana. I also liked the nursing school here at Augustana and felt it was the right place for me.”

Skotnicki’s mom went with her on college visits, and both her parents have done something that rarely occurs in a young athlete’s life.

The support she received has helped her become the player and person she is today. You can see Skotnicki play in the soccer team’s next home game on Sept. 27 vs Webster.

The women’s soccer team looks forward to conference play that will comence in two weeks.