Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Peak to Peak senior Kinzie Short has had to earn her minutes in the net in what has already been a hard-fought soccer career.
From a fill-in to splitting time in net. From a starter to a backup. Short can now simply label herself, Division-I.
The Pumas senior celebrated a journey of hard work and persistence, and turned her attention towards a bright future at national signing day on Wednesday afternoon. With a flick of the pen inside Peak to Peak, she made it official to continue her playing career at the University of Nebraska.
Looking back, Short said she was glad nothing was ever handed to her during what has been a trying and growing process as a keeper. Even today, the senior said she must fight for time in net.
That drive hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing.
“One major thing I was talking about with my college coach was splitting time will actually help me compete more and it makes sure that I’m on my game every practice,” Short said.
Nothing is taken for granted.
Short transitioned from the midfield to net when she was 13. As she remembers it, she was playing club soccer for FC Boulder when the primary keeper got injured.
She was then put in, “fell in love with it, and that’s where I am now.”
From there, Short’s game grew and so did the competition. She split time as a sophomore with fellow-classmate Rachel Willette for Peak to Peak. Former coach Joe Swanson said the two were a one-two punch in net with contrasting styles, and they were both crucial in leading the Pumas to the 3A state title game.
Swanson said the goalie competition was good for both his goalies back then. He believes the same is true for Short today.
“If you have somebody of quality in front of you or behind you or even beside you in that field of competition, I think it does wonders for driving kids,” he said. “That absolutely pushes them to do better and want to be better.
“Kinzie would really get after it at practice knowing that she wanted to play and wanted to be ‘the person’.”
In the last year, the senior bypassed her junior season of high school soccer and left FC Boulder to play in the Development Academy for esteemed-club Real Colorado. Short said she knew the switch would likely mean she’d have to fight for starting minutes.
Behind keeper Halle Mackiewicz — a Legacy junior who is already committed to play soccer at Clemson — Short found minutes where she could. This summer, Real Colorado won the Development Academy national championship.
“It definitely does stink sometimes not getting the minutes you want,” Short said. But the move has “made me better in the long run.”
Former Peak to Peak teammate Ashley Buck also signed, committing to Boston University. Erie’s Alicia Cardenas, meanwhile, will join Short next year after pledging to Nebraska.
Other girls’ soccer signees from Wednesday included Boulder’s Morgan Stone, who inked with Boise State. And up the road, Fairview’s Brooke Berdan made it official with Auburn and Sarina Russ with Texas.
Elsewhere, Daisy Light and Allie Larsen led a group of five girls’ soccer commits from Monarch. Light made it official with Iowa and Larsen signed with Montana. Dakota Anderson (Illinois State), Emily Cameron (South Dakota State) and Lily Morgan (Colorado Mesa) also finalized the next steps of their playing careers. In boys’ soccer, Monarch’s Jack Tater signed with Colorado Mesa.
Two girls’ players from Silver Creek also signed. Emma Gibbs is going to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Emily Reitz is off to Fort Hays State.
Erie’s Alison McNeal inked with Dominican University.
Jefferson Academy, the 2018 3A state champs, saw Mira Houck and Kristen Capan pledge to the RMAC’s Metro State and Colorado Mesa, respectively.