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Transfer student makes lasting impact on soccer team

Womens+Soccer
Women’s Soccer

Having a lasting impact on an athletic program and being part of a team that is in a rebuilding process can be a burden on some student-athletes.

For sophomore Kara Ross, however, it was motivation to transfer to Bowling Green State University this summer after playing her freshman year at Brock University in her hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario.

Although Ross said she loved her former school, she came to BG because she wanted more out of her college soccer career.

“Coach [Basalyga] said we need people here who are willing to work, who believe that we can change this culture and I said to her I just want to be around something big,” Ross said. “She said you can put your fingerprint on this program and I just knew it was for me. It was just a mutual trust between both of us.”

Head coach Lindsay Basalyga said the circumstances about Ross’ recruitment were rather unusual.

“Kara had randomly shown up at a practice up in Canada where Rhonda [Gottschalk], my assistant, was watching a team we have recruited from before,” she said. “She [Ross] was like ‘I hope there is going to be a college coach here,’ and we happened to be there. It’s just one of these perfect situations.”

It took some time for Ross to adjust to the level of play and the athleticism required for Division I college soccer, but she has adapted quickly and played over the full 90 minutes in the past two games for the Falcons.

Sophomore Paige Amodio said Ross is a great fit for BG women’s soccer and does what is needed to put the program in the right direction.

“She works hard at every single practice, she fits in really good with the style of play that we have and it’s a lot of fun playing next to her since we both play defensive mid positions,” she said.

Teammate and pre-season roommate, sophomore Jessica Creech said Ross has been the exact type of player the program needed.

“[Ross] works hard, keeps a good attitude and she doesn’t do anything that she’s not supposed to,” Creech said. “She is like a perfect role model for people that should be in our program.”

While she has been part of the program for only a few months, Ross has already made a lasting impression on her coaches and teammates.

“Every single day we see her getting better and better and as individual players get better it drives everybody else,” Basalyga said. “Kara came here because she wanted more out of the college experience. She wanted to be around people that were committed to the sport. Not just for the two hours that they are at practice, but for the lifestyle choice. She is living that culture and she has helped in more ways than just on the field.”

Ross said her goal is to move forward with the program, and so far the team is heading in the right direction.

“I think we have a very talented group of girls who want to be here and want to change this program,” Ross said. “I mean it’s a work in progress, but we are disciplined; we are holding each other accountable and the more we do that, the better it’s going to get. I want to see the girls that I’m around with right now move forward with me and I just want to get a winning culture going.”

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