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VYPE/Gullo Athlete of the Month -- The Woodlands Kaleigh Olmsted
March 7, 2013VYPE MAGAZINE - Houston
VYPE/Gullo Athlete of the Month
The Woodlands Soccer
By Austin Staton
It’s no secret that The Woodlands has boasted one of the area’s elite soccer clubs for more than a decade. For head coach Dina Graves, her Lady Highlanders received a big boost this year with a crucial offseason addition of a standout student-athlete.
Meet senior forward Kaleigh Olmsted. If her name sounds familiar, it should.
During The Woodlands’ magical state championship run in 2010, Olmsted, then a freshman, was one of five student-athletes to record more than 10 goals on the season and was primed to take the reigns as a four-year starter.
The caveat? She was forced to sit out of competition during her next two years so that she could rest injury concerns as a result of a demanding schedule that consisted of both club and high school soccer. Following a two-year hiatus, she’s back for the Lady Highlanders – and better than ever.
“It was difficult to leave teammates that I cared about so much,” says Olmsted, a 5-foot-4 Notre Dame signee. “It was hard watching them in the playoffs the last two years because I wanted to be out there. At the same time, I had to think about my future and the opportunity of college scholarships.”
With a young team ready to embark on the 2013 season, Olmsted’s close friend and teammate Taylor Campbell encouraged her to rejoin the squad for one last shot to cap her prep career with a state championship.
Her impact has been felt immediately as the Highlanders have rolled through competition posting an 11-1-3 record in the school’s first 15 games with Olmsted owning a team-best 10 goals and 12 assists in those matches.
“I missed being a part of something bigger than my self and the relationship with my teammates,” she says. “We want to win state this season. That’s our top priority and I think we’re a good enough team to make it happen.”
Beyond high school, Olmsted is one of six prep standouts that is set to join Notre Dame next fall in South Bend, Ind. In what is billed as the third-ranked recruiting class in the nation, Olmsted understands that playing time at the collegiate level won’t come easy, but she’s prepared for the challenge.
“I’m going to fight for minutes,” she says. “I don’t expect to start and I’ll have to work for it. I’m not sure what to expect, but I am just going to work hard and anything more is a bonus.”
For now, Olmsted is focused on her team and their quest for a second state title in four years.
“I just want to have a really good relationship with all of the girls on my team,” she says. “It’s been difficult being away, but I want to be able to feel that I’m a part of this team and hoist a state championship trophy at the end of the season.”