Senior defender looking to end career on a high note

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Photo courtesy UVU Athletics

One of the standout players on the first-place Utah Valley University women’s soccer team has been senior defender Kalli Suesue, who was tabbed the WAC Preseason Defender Player of the Year by the WAC coaches.

Suesue is an Arizona native, who at the age of 5 started to play and develop a love for the sport. Playing at a colligate level is a very big deal for the oldest of five siblings, Suesue’s family tries to attend many of her games and she relies heavily on her family and her husband of two years for support every time she plays a game.

Suesue feels that this year is a bittersweet one for her, as she gears up to play her final year. With no future plans of playing soccer after college, the exercise science major is trying to make the best of the time she does have left playing for the Wolverines.

Growing up, Suesue was a multi-sport oriented person, having played many sports, including basketball and flag-football. She found her passion for soccer after realizing how much she loved to kick the ball while she was young.

“Nothing really clicked for me except for soccer,” Suesue said. “It kind of stuck with me and I just got better at it. That’s how it all started, and then I just grew to love the game and I just couldn’t see myself without the game of soccer.”

After graduating from Gilbert High School in Gilbert, Ariz., Suesue came to visit UVU and fell in love with the state of Utah and mountains. The coaching staff and the team stood out in her mind as UVU was one of the few schools the she talked to outside of Arizona.

“The coaches and the team is what really brought me in,” Suesue said.

Suesue made her mark as a defender her junior year of high school by earning Defensive MVP honors. After being out for most of her senior year recovering from a torn ACL, she was able to come back for the second half of the season and was named Second Team All-State and First Team All-District.

After a great 2015 season, Suesue feels like the Wolverines are playing with a target on their backs. Not focused on last season’s outcome, she is looking to improve this season by using the previous one as a stepping stone.

“Being a captain, I feel like I need to lead my team to not repeat last year, but to do better,” Sueus said.  “When that game day comes, we need to focus on that game, and take it one step at a time.”

Suesue hopes that the season continues to go in the direction it’s been thus far. Having scored her first goal this season against UNLV Sept. 2, she is off to a great start.