Second-year student Kelsi Casey became the first woman to play for the men’s soccer team in college history. A selection that did not surprise those who saw her play. Her thunderous voice can be heard all over the football pitch during pre-match warm-ups as she directs player traffic with high intensity.
âI’ve been playing soccer my whole life, playing on teams my age and up, but it’s been tough working with and playing against guys,â Casey said. “It’s something I’ve never done before.”
Her chance to play for the men’s team came when the women’s season was canceled due to low attendance. After coaching both teams, head coach Diego Garcia saw an opportunity both to keep Casey on the pitch and to add more talent to the men’s squad.
âKelsi is a person who likes to stay on top of everyone else and keep the team accountable for giving their best, she has been great. She is one of the leaders of the team and has definitely earned her place, âsaid Garcia.
Casey has played football for most of his life. She played youth soccer with the North Shore United Soccer Club, a member of the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association and for three years on the varsity team at Cedarburg High School. Her years of football experience helped her develop another trait, leadership.
During a workout, Garcia told her that he admires the way she consistently takes on any challenge. At the time, she hadn’t realized that he saw her as the official leadership of the team.
âHe said of everyone on the pitch I’m the one who has the most to prove not only to be a goalie but also to be the only woman on the team,â said Casey.
She was then named team captain along with teammates Baltasar “Balta” Perez and Chris “Blue” Kennedy. Another first in college history for the men’s soccer team.
âAs a father that makes me proud,â said athletic director and basketball head coach Randy Casey. âShe always wants to be on her own and not be in the shadow of me as the athletic director here. She really worked hard to make sure that everything is her and that she stands out on her own so that makes me very proud, âhe said. Adding that her daughter has been playing soccer since she was very young and has always been a spitfire and continues to have this strong drive to accomplish whatever she thinks about.
The Stormers home football games are played on the South Campus at 6665 South Howell Avenue Oak Creek, WI 53154.