Winning a national title and being named player of the year would be a nice ending to any collegiate athlete’s career.
For Kasandra Anderson, the 2013 National Soccer Coaches Association of America junior college Player of the Year, it’s just the beginning.
“Coming to UVU has been something I’ve wanted to do for about three years now,” Anderson said. “One of the main reasons that made me want to come here is being able to come to a program where I feel like I’m going to be able to make some sort of a difference.”
Anderson, who plays in the midfield, usually in the center at attacking or sometimes holding, scored 13 goals and had 14 assists for a total of 40 points, helping Iowa Western Community College win the junior college national championship in November.
“Coming out of that with little bit of momentum, the will to win has kind of been instilled in me now,” Anderson said. “It’s something that I want everyone to experience. I’m excited to see what can happen.”
Her championship experience will be a welcome addition to an overall young roster, which will lose four All-WAC first team performers to graduation in Spring 2014.
“The great thing about Kasandra is that she’s been successful wherever she’s been,” UVU head coach Brent Anderson said. “We’re looking forward to having her bring those attributes and her leadership ability to our program.”
Nine freshman and seven sophomores were on the Wolverines 24-player roster during the 2013 season. Anderson will be a junior at the start of the 2014 campaign.
“She’s been in that pressure situation and she’s been successful,” Coach Anderson said. “You get in those tough, competitive situations and sometimes self-doubt can creep in, but I think she’ll be able to navigate that.”
Anderson enrolled at UVU in at the beginning of January. She is originally from Nibley, Utah, which is about an hour drive south of Logan.
At Iowa Western, Anderson played under head coach Brad Silvey, who played competitive soccer in Utah from the time he was age 12 to when he graduated from Springville High School.
“His support was incredible through the whole process,” Anderson said of Silvey. “I wasn’t sure I was going to come here and right before I committed he said, ‘You’ve got to remember what you wanted for the past couple of years. There’s all the schools but which have you wanted to go to the most.’”
Anderson added that her level of comfort with the culture and the fact that her beliefs and values are commonly shared in Utah helped make the decision easier.
Brent Anderson has developed a relationship with Silvey, which has provided opportunities for Iowa Western players to move on to compete in Division I at UVU.
“We run into each other on the recruiting trail and talk about different players and things,” Coach Anderson said. “He spoke highly to her about the program and we worked together to get her here.”
The Wolverines will look to improve on their inaugural season in the Western Athletic Conference after losing in the semifinals of the conference tournament to Kansas City.
UVU won back-to-back conference tournament championships during its last two years in the Great West.