Southeast Spotlight: Kindra Lierz
Southeast goalkeeper Kindra Lierz is working hard to finish her senior season strong at Southeast Missouri State. Lierz began playing soccer when she was 3 years old. She has been playing 19 years and her love for the game has not changed.
“Growing up my parents’ philosophy was to allow me to try everything,” Lierz said. “I tried gymnastics for a week and I danced for a year. The only other sport I played consistently was basketball.”
Athletics has always been a part of her family while growing up, her parents were both athletes themselves therefore it was expected for them to pass the torch. Her mother played basketball and her father was a swimmer. As expected, she participated in both sports.
“I played basketball and I swam, but my parents saw me on the field and knew that I would be a soccer player. It was just my sport,” Lierz said.
Lierz is an exceptional asset to Southeast soccer. She has the ability to play any position on the field. Aside from being a goalkeeper, her previous training also consisted of her playing as a center back and forward prior to coming to Southeast.
“I enjoy playing as the goalkeeper,” Lierz said. “It is definitely a position most girls would not desire to play. I think you have to be a little crazy to want to play as the goalkeeper, especially with balls coming right at your face.”
Lierz is playing her last season as a Southeast athlete and it is bittersweet. She chose Southeast for the family atmosphere and the home-like vibes.
“Family is very important to me. Southeast has felt like my home away from home. I live four hours away, but I feel like I still have my family here,” Lierz said.
Lierz has had a soccer experience to remember while being at Southeast, winning not only several individual titles, but also an Ohio Valley Conference Regular Season Championship. Freshman year she won All Newcomers Team, First-Team OVC and historically she became the first Freshman and Defensive Player of the OVC. She is the first athlete to earn both titles in a single season in conference history.
“I have been through all the ups and downs possible while at Southeast. I will never forget beating Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and winning the Ohio Valley Conference title, it was a very rewarding feeling as a freshman,” Lierz said.
As the season end approaches and graduation begins to knock at the door, Lierz plans to continue to play soccer after college. If that does not work in her favor she will complete one last internship in hopes of becoming a college sports director.
Lierz has begun to look into playing soccer overseas. There are opportunities to play professional soccer in the United States, but she prefers to play overseas. She is currently in the works of getting her first passport.
“During the summer I played for a semi-pro team called Fire and Ice, so that is part of the reason I want to continue to play. There is a team for women’s professional soccer within the states, but I want to play overseas so I can travel and play,” Lierz said.
Although she does enjoy playing soccer, she has other interest outside of her love for the game.
“When I have free time I enjoy hanging out with my friends, but I am also kind of a nerd. I like to do puzzles and watch superhero shows,” Lierz said.
Being a Southeast athlete she has learned a lot to prepare for life beyond the field. She has learned many time management skills, but also how to adjust when situations change suddenly.
“I have gained a lot of teamwork experience, but I have also learned to expect the unexpected. The changes of practice times and going from indoor to outdoor It is important for me to remain light on my feet,” Lierz said.
Closing out her final season Lierz is emotional, but is prepared and ready to see where life takes her after Southeast.
“As the season comes to an end it is getting more emotional because I can still remember running my first fitness test and even freshman move-in day with my family,” Lierz said. “I want my teammates to remember that four years goes by so fast, so try to have fun.”