Ever since Kyra Fawcett has been on the Oregon soccer team, she’s led with her uncanny ability to score.
That was the case when she was a freshman, and now as a sophomore, she’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
“She’s making an impact right away, fighting for every ball,” head coach Kat Mertz said.
Fawcett is arguably the team’s top weapon on the offensive side of the ball. She was second in goals scored last year. She’s continued to elevate her play, leading the team in goals scored midway through Pac-12 play.
Fawcett, a native of Bountiful, Utah, knew from the first time she visited campus that Oregon was the right fit for her collegiate career.
“Once I came here, I felt like I was home,” Fawcett said. “It’s one of those feelings you can’t explain.”
Through the first 14 games of the season, Fawcett’s five goals and 15 shots on goal lead the team. She’s already passed her own marks of three and 11 from last season.
Even with all the individual success Fawcett has had, she’s deflected praise of her success. Fawcett said being able to rely on her teammates has elevated her game this year.
“I feel like I’m more a silent leader,” Fawcett said. “I’m going to show you the work I put in, and hopefully [my teammates] see that, feel the energy and jump on with me.”
Senior Ashlee Schulz said she’s been continually impressed by Fawcett’s growth from her first to second year with the program.
“She didn’t quite know how strong she was,” Schulz said. “She’s definitely broken out of her shell.”
Some members of Oregon’s coaching staff say they knew Fawcett’s abilities would develop with more mentoring. She was named first team all-state in Utah during her sophomore and senior seasons.
“We challenged her from her freshman year,” said Mertz.
Fawcett accepted the challenge and didn’t shy away from her scoring responsibilities.
“It’s a confidence booster that my team is relying on me to go out there, work hard and put out my effort, execute under pressure — and not have the nerves or anything to get in the way of that,” Fawcett said.
Oregon, after an encouraging 6-3-1 nonconference start, has started 0-6 in Pac-12 play. It has been a tough stretch for a fairly young team, but Fawcett hasn’t lost sight of the big picture.
Fawcett is on track for a memorable career at Oregon. In the coming years, she’ll likely receive Pac-12 honors accolades and with that, increased attention. She said it won’t change her approach.
“[I want to] go out and be myself and stand for what I believe in on and off the soccer field,” Fawcett said. “I wanted to come to a school and make a difference.”
Follow Cole Kundich on Twitter @colesportsUO