Sept. 19, 2013
CHICAGO - Over the next several weeks, UICFlames.com will profile the UIC women's soccer players. The women's soccer program was launched in November of 2012 with the hiring of head coach Brian Rigby, but won't begin varsity competition until the fall of 2014. Until then, UICFlames.com would like to `Get to Know' the newest additions to our Flames Family.
UICFlames.com: What made you choose UIC?
Kendall Wilde: I chose UIC because of the area. The city has a nice atmosphere and I like the nursing program at Rush.
UICFlames.com: What is your intended major?
Kendall Wilde: My intended major is Nursing.
UICFlames.com: Talk about your experience playing soccer in high school.
Kendall Wilde: In my first year of high school, I played on the varsity team and we won the state championship. This summer, I played on the club team and we won Nationals. Overall, it was a fun experience that had a big impact on me.
UICFlames.com: Talk about the transition thus far from high school soccer practices to college practices.
Kendall Wilde: Practices are a lot harder here. I have to be more consistent and need to be strong. It's a lot of responsibility now to do things by myself. I have to keep myself together, stay motivated and stay in shape.
UICFlames.com: To date, what has been your biggest accomplishment and/or moment in regards to soccer?
Kendall Wilde: Winning state in high school and winning Nationals over the summer.
UICFlames.com: How has it been getting to know your teammates on and off of the field?
Kendall Wilde: On and off of the field we are very close. We socialize a lot and have very good chemistry. I like that we come from different cultures. On the field, we are motivated and thoughtful of each other. Our focuses are on school and making each other better as we work as a team.
What are your thoughts toward being the first women to ever play on a UIC women's soccer team?
Overall it is exciting, but also nerve-wrecking. We have to set the bar for the team. We have to be mature, responsible, and respectful athletes as we represent UIC for the first time. As freshmen, we have to have good character and prepare ourselves to be leaders because there is no one ahead of us.
UICFlames.com: How excited are you to play for coach Rigby?
Kendall Wilde: I am really excited. Coach Rigby is one of the toughest coaches that I have ever had, but he is also my favorite. He has a strong picture of the game and is all about consistency. I think this will be a great experience.
UICFlames.com: From what you have seen in practices, what do you think your team's philosophy will be?
Kendall Wilde: To play real creative soccer for the right reasons - for the win. We want to be the team that not only wins, but that does something new and different at the same time.
UICFlames.com: What would you say is you biggest strength that you bring to the team?
Kendall Wilde: My biggest strength would probably be my technical abilities. I feel like I am a lot stronger technically than I thought. I am also a very honest person so I can be counted on to give out honest critique. I think I am mentally and physically strong.
UICFlames.com: What do you see as some of the teams' strengths?
Kendall Wilde: We are good technically and we have speed. We are all short players, but we are fast. We also have great chemistry and are very strong on and off of the ball.
UICFlames.com: How do you plan to improve your game by the time the season begins next fall?
Kendall Wilde: A lot of fitness. As a team we are going to be doing a lot of plays and playmaking skills. We will also make sure we have good communication between each other and just get extremely fit. We know we will be a very young team, with most of our competitors a year or two older than us, so we need to get fit physically and mentally.
UICFlames.com: By the time you graduate from UIC, what impact do you hope to make both on and off the field?
Kendall Wilde: I want to be successful in nursing, which means doing something in pediatrics, mid-wife, or anesthesiology. I want to have won multiple Horizon League championships. I want to leave a mark on the school athletically and academically.
UICFlames.com: Now that you are living in downtown Chicago, what has been your favorite experience so far not relating to soccer?
Kendall Wilde: I would say the variety of cultures and how diverse the city is. The city is so big that there are so many opportunities to get involved in something. Socially it is nice to see different cultures come together. Everything in the city is so accessible. The people you meet and the places you go are sometimes so unexpected.
UICFlames.com: When you are not playing soccer, or in class, what do you like to do in your free time?
Kendall Wilde: I like to socialize with my friends that I met through orientation or through school. I like to shop like most girls do, go to the beach, and check out all of the architecture and sculptures that the city has to offer. I just like to walk around and figure things out about myself.