Measuring five feet, zero inches, Katey Turner is easily the smallest player on the soccer team’s roster.
She’s also the biggest player in terms of work ethic, enthusiasm and leadership, according to her teammates and coaching staff. Throw in her 2009 campaign (seven goals, 16 points and Great West Tournament MVP), and the case could be made Turner is the biggest reason the women’s soccer team can succeed this season.
“This is her last year and she’s done very well so far,” coach Brent Anderson said. “We have high expectations for this final season.”
Those lofty expectations are a leap from where Turner’s career appeared to be headed just a few years ago.
After being cut during high school soccer tryouts, Turner doubted that soccer held anything else for her. Instead, an invitation to be a guest player for Utah’s La Roca Premier club team got her the exposure she needed. Even after La Roca held onto her, Turner didn’t necessarily expect anything further to develop for her soccer career.
“I was just staying with [La Roca], not really looking toward getting recruited,” Turner said. “Brent [Anderson] started talking to me, then Weber State did, too. I wasn’t really looking to get recruited, but it just kind of happened. It’s one of the greatest things that ever happened.”
Anderson’s interest in Turner’s talent became full-fledged appreciation for the work she put in to develop it. Anderson also notes the positive influence Turner has on her teammates.
“[Katey] is one of the first girls to go to the freshmen and tell them they need to pick it up,” Anderson said. “She’ll also be the first one to go to them and say, ‘Hey, good job.’ We really appreciate and value her leadership for us.”
Turner’s teammates have also taken note of her work ethic and agree her effort and her personality rub off on the team.
“When she’s out there, she’s working her hardest,” sophomore teammate Regan Clifford said. “She’s finding ways to finish with the ball, and that [makes an impact on] the rest of the team.”
The unbridled enthusiasm and effort are products of an innocent motivator: Turner’s love for the game and everything about it. Her beginnings with the game are almost disarming.
“I started playing soccer and all my friends were, too,” Turner said. “I was pretty good at it, I guess. I liked being good at something. I just stuck with it ‘cause that’s where all my friends were.”
Turner’s teammates in turn love what she brings to the squad. When her career as a Wolverine does come to an end, Turner (an exercise science major) hopes to stay involved with the game as long as she can.
“I grew to love the game,” Turner said. “It makes me want to go further and further.”
Considering how far she’s come already, there’s no telling where the game will ultimately take her.