June 14, 2011
Video and story by: Michael Stagno, Auburn media relations
At Homewood High School, Katy Frierson was a member of the National Honor Society, the Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta and the Spanish Club. There are plenty of high school students who achieve the equivalent, but where she excels in is the game she loves, soccer.
She played for the Birmingham United 90 club team and helped BUSA in appearing in two regional quarterfinal appearances, winning nine state championships and two Region 3 League Championships. She was also a two-time NSCAA All-American. All reasons why she was the No. 7-ranked recruit in the nation by SoccerBuzz.
Having already played for U16, U17, U20 and U23 National Teams, Frierson has been to countries like Holland, Argentina and Sweden. When asked if she had a favorite destination so far, she raved about Europe, but felt that Argentina taught her more than soccer will.
"I've been pretty blessed to be able to travel all over the world and play soccer," Frierson said. "It gives me a neat perspective on the sport and on the world as well."
With having played in many different countries Frierson has learned a lot. She has taken things into perspective in realizing that not everyone is as fortunate and that many people her age in other countries lack the availability of an education, food and water and even shoes.
"The people are so passionate," Frierson said. "They don't have material things that we have. Instead, they cherish family, friends and soccer. It was a humbling experience."
Frierson has had a great supporting cast all her life. She credits both past and present coaches and training staffs with helping her progress technically and fundamentally in the game of soccer, but she credits her family with being the supportive lifeline in which she has learned many of her life's lessons.
"They always support me in anything I want to do," Frierson said. "They encourage me to go the extra mile in trying to be the best that I can be."
Upon arriving at Auburn in 2008, Frierson had an immediate impact as she led the squad in both goals (nine) and in points (25). She twice won SEC Freshman of the week and was both a First Team All-SEC selection and on the SEC All-Freshman team. She earned honors from Soccer America, SoccerBuzz and TopDrawerSoccer.com, but her biggest accomplishment was winning SEC Freshman of the Year. When asked how she was able to adapt to Auburn so quickly, she credited her pre-existing relationships with Head Coach Karen Hoppa and Assistant Coach Keidane McAlpine.
"I'm the type of player that needs to get comfortable with the people around me before I can start doing what I do," Frierson said. "Coach McAlpine was very patient with me and helped me in making the transition as an everyday player."
Being a midfielder, it is important in being able to both defend and attack, but also in setting plays up. Frierson loves her position because of the freedom in covering the whole field and in always being involved.
Frierson has been on the academic honor roll since arriving at Auburn and values her education. Because of her travels and her experiences in both life and the game of soccer she is focused on international studies and economic development.
"It's all really interesting to me and something that I enjoy reading about," Frierson said. "There's so much we can do to affect others and I think that is most important."
Frierson notes that the individual relationships she has built with her teammates is her favorite thing about Auburn. She says that because of the friendships they have off the field is the reason why they work so well on the field. Now that she is a senior, she says that all the seniors on the team have goals that they want to accomplish and she feels that nothing needs to change as far as how she acts and performs because that is not her style.
"I'm not so much of a vocal and demanding presence," Frierson said. "I try to lead by example and I try to apply my commitment and my standards that I set for myself into everything that I do and hopefully people see that."
Last season, Auburn soccer finished with an overall record of 11-8-2 followed by an early exit in the SEC Tournament. With four returning seniors and a talented group of juniors Frierson is confident they can achieve glory this season.
"Our goal is to win an SEC Championship and hopefully we can get there," Frierson said. "We have the talent to get it done, but we just need to take it one game at a time."
After she graduates from Auburn, Frierson hopes to play soccer right away in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). Considering her skills, her hard work and determination and the assurance that she will add to her impressive Auburn totals of 22 goals and 29 assists, she may well be on her way.