Kylie Jo Larsen, daughter of Teresa and Ryan Anderson, and the late Joe Larsen, signed to play soccer at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. She is, as yet, undecided whether she will major in veterinary science or sports medicine.
Kylie was courted by four schools, including Iowa Western, Highline Community College and Peninsula Community College, but “there was just something different about Snow College,” she said. Familiarity from attending soccer and basketball camps, “or just the atmosphere of the team, the college itself and its location or even how comfortable Coach (Charles) Long made me feel,” all played a role in Larsen’s decision. ”I had to learn to listen to myself ... My gut was just yelling at me saying, ‘Snow,’ so that feeling ultimately made my final decision,” she said.
To this point in her life, Kylie said she has followed in the footsteps of her parents.
“My mom and dads all played sports throughout their lives, but none went (on) to play college ball. It is a little scary being the first (to play at the next level) but that’s okay because I want my siblings to know that hard work and dedication into something you love will pay off in the end,” she said. She attributes her ability to play sports well to “many influences” but especially her family.” My mom taught me to not give up and to work hard in what I do. She also taught me to not do something half-done because that is not going to get you far in life — and she is 100% correct about that.” Larsen’s late father, Joseph Larsen, is another big influence, she said, despite passing away when she was just two years old.”I grew up hearing so many stories about him from family (and) many of his friends and just people he touched during his life. He pushed me in a mental way that I wanted to make him proud and I wanted to continue to expand on what he loved, which was sports,” she said.Larsen fell in love with soccer at a young age. “Soccer has not only been an escape from today’s world drama and my own life struggles, but it is a part of me, and I am not ready to let go of it yet,” she said, calling the game one of her best friends.
“My body craves it: the adrenaline, the soreness, the mental mountains you must climb. I want it all,” she said. “Game to game I have the choice of how I am going to play and how I am going to affect others on the field.” Snow is going to be a big stepping stone” in her pursuit of the game beyond the school’s two-year program.
Coach Long feels the same.
“We are excited about her ability to read the game, her ability to play at this level, and her knowledge of the game,” said Coach Long. “Her character will fit in well with the school and the direction we are heading,” he said.”I think it is a good move for her but I know it is a good move for us,” said Coach Long.
Kylie’s height is expected to be an advantage for Snow.
“She’s going to help in our backline — help us head balls. She’ll do well for us,” he said.Kylie expressed her appreciation to those who have been integral in helping her “become the athlete I am today. ... if I went through my list you’d better just sign me to write a book.”
So she mentioned her parents, grandparents and coach.”First my mom, for always being my #1 fan and for being my chauffeur in life. She is an incredibly strong woman that always puts me first in her life so that my dreams can come true and I am beyond lucky to get to call her my mom. So, I love you mom even when I do not say it enough.”Next, I want to thank all my grandparents for making the time to come to my games and just be my wingmen, but I especially want to point out my Grandma Candy and Grandpa Elliot Larsen. ... They taught me how to be selfless and just be kind to everyone, (and) how important practices are and to work hard at every one I’m at. So, thank you.”
Coach Brandon Lyon “he has pushed me to ... not settle in my abilities and with life in general. If I played a bad game, he was not going to come to my rescue and baby me because he knew that I knew that was not me out there. He knows that my head is my worst enemy and he has helped me grow to diminish that enemy. During the process of exposing myself to colleges he helped me the most because my family did not really know what to do and he was there to jump in and help. Lyon has done so much for me in my life that I can never repay, so all I can do is say ‘Thank-you for everything.’”
Kylie has played soccer and basketball for Preston High School, but soccer has been her favorite. This year, she was named by the Idaho High School Soccer Coaches Association (IHSSCA) and United Soccer Coaches (USC), not only to the all-state team, but the central defender was named player of the year.