Senior Kellyn Flanagan is only in her second season with the Kent State soccer team.
But one would never guess that watching her on the field. The 5-foot-10-inch transfer from Wisconsin shows leadership and poise while working with her teammates. Her five goals and three assists in 24 games with the Flashes
are evidence of that.
Flanagan works in the clutch too, as four of her five goals have been game winners, including her score this year in Kent State’s lone win so far this season.
Sports reporter Alex Atkinson sat down with Flanagan to talk about her transition from Wisconsin to Kent State and life as a soccer player.
Why did you transfer and why did you choose Kent State?
When I got (to Wisconsin), the coaches were different than the ones that recruited me, so it was just a different atmosphere than I was expecting. I came to Kent just because I felt it was a good fit for me academically and athletically and the coaches were very welcoming. It was the kind of the experience I was looking for my freshman year.
I would have never guessed by watching you on the field with your teammates that you have only played one full season with this team. Would you consider it an easy transfer? If so, what or who made this transfer easy?
It was an easy transfer, and I think I was lucky with that. (Junior) Hannah Johnson and (Senior) Katelyn Warnke, I played with them in high school, so I was able to come in and see familiar faces. The rest of the team were just really welcoming and an easy group of girls to work with. So, they definitely made it an easy transition.
You have quite a resume. Who is the best player you have played against or with?
I have played with and against some great teams. I’ve played overseas in Brazil, so there’s probably girls that I don’t even know their names that were just tremendous players. So for me to give a specific name, I don’t even know that I could do that.
Which team, Wisconsin or Kent State, has or had better team chemistry?
I think the Kent team. From the start — since I’ve been here — everyone was just a great group of girls and again welcoming, and I think that that says a lot about a team when you open your arms to a new player. We do it every year with freshmen, but I really feel lucky that I came into a team that was so positive and open. I’ve been lucky to work with them and be apart of this team.
Who do you feel is the easiest to work with? Is there a player on this team who you feel is on the same wavelength as you?
I feel like there’s several girls on the team that I have different relationships with. Off the bat, like I said, Hannah and Kate, I played high school with them. I played with Kate Warnke since I was 8 years old, so I feel like we definitely have a connection and have the same wavelength.
What is your most memorable soccer moment?
Going to Brazil was amazing, life-changing. It was unforgettable. Just the whole experience there was amazing. It was something I won’t forget.
Do you have a most disappointing moment in your career?
I think maybe Strongsville beating us in high school. (They were) always a big rival and knocked us out of the tournament a few times, so that’s probably the most disappointing.
Do you have a hobby that helps you on the soccer field?
I’ve always liked volleyball and softball. If anything it’s just being willing to dive. I mean, I haven’t played volleyball since like seventh grade, but I’ve always loved the sport. And softball, well, just being willing to get down and dirty. I feel like that may be something that can translate over to soccer.
What are your plans for after this final season? Will you continue playing soccer?
I don’t think so. I think this is the end of the road for me. You know, I’ve been playing since I was four. Competitively since I was 10. It’s gotten me where I wanted it to, and it’s helped get me a great education. Coaching possibly in the future, but playing I think I’m done.
After I graduate, I would like to go to grad school to get my master’s in teaching. If I can pick up a coaching job in that time, that would be great. Once done with grad school, I would like to teach PE at the high school level and coach as well.
By the numbers: Kellyn Flanagan
Games played: 47 (24 with Kent State, 23 with Wisconsin)
Assists: 4 (3 with Kent State, 1 with Wisconsin)
Contact Alex Atkinson [email protected]