'One week to win a championship'
Nov. 3, 2011
By Jack Smith
AUBURN -- Katy Frierson's four years at Auburn all come down to this--one week to win a Southeastern Conference soccer championship.
Frierson, who was recently named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a First-Team All SEC performer for the fourth consecutive year, has had little time to reflect on her remarkable Auburn career. That time will come.
"Just the other day I was a freshman moving into the dorms and now I am a senior, graduating and heading into the real world," Frierson said. "It's really flown by."
While Frierson has big ambitions on the soccer field and beyond after graduation, more pressing matters are at hand.
After defeating LSU on Wednesday at the SEC Soccer Championship in Orange Beach, Auburn is set for a semifinal matchup against Tennessee on Friday.
"Our theme is this is one week to win a championship," Frierson said. "We have to win three games and we're the SEC champs."
Wednesday's win over No. 2 seed LSU put Auburn in position to accomplish its major goals for the season--the school's first SEC Tournament Championship and an NCAA Final Four appearance in Kennesaw, Ga.
"Our goal for the NCAA tournament is to win four of those games and make it to the Final Four in (Kennesaw) Georgia," Frierson said.
Frierson, a midfielder from Homewood, has some lofty goals of her own.
"After graduation, I'd love to continue playing if an opportunity presents itself within the pro league," she said. "If not, I might stay involved with soccer at some level in terms of coaching."
But if soccer doesn't work out, Frierson has plenty of other options. She currently has a 3.9 GPA with a major in political science. Frierson said her athletic, academic and spiritual growth at Auburn has opened her eyes to a world that's much bigger than any soccer field.
"It's been absolutely amazing in all different regards," Frierson said of her time at Auburn. "I've developed as a soccer player, I've learned a lot in the classroom, but what I think is most important is I've grown and I've developed as a human being. I've been able to find things that I'm passionate about."
Frierson has been passionate about soccer since she started playing in Homewood at age 5. What she discovered last summer during a Soccer Without Borders trip to Nicaragua is that soccer can open doors to help impoverished people all over the world.
"I've always loved soccer and I've always wanted to take soccer past this selfish endeavor of mine to make it meaningful and be able to serve others," Frierson said. "Soccer has always been there. I've found what interests me in school, and that's international studies and the world, which is much bigger than just the United States."
The Soccer Without Borders trip left a lasting impression on Frierson and encouraged her to begin thinking of ways she could do her part to alleviate poverty in developing countries.
"We were in one of the poorest regions, aside from Haiti, in the Western Hemisphere. We were completely immersed in the culture there. We lived with the families in their houses. It rained one day, and some people got rained on because their roof didn't hold water." Frierson said she and her teammates on the trip were well received.
"They really embraced us. They were all very excited about the gringos. The goal was to empower women, because all over the world women don't have the same rights as men. The way to address poverty in a lot of places is to invest in the women."
Frierson, who has played soccer on the U-23 National Team, still has big ambitions for her soccer career. She will likely declare for the draft after graduation and will continue to work toward the highest of all goals for any soccer player--making the U.S. National Team that competes in the World Cup and the Olympics.
"My ultimate goal as a kid was making the National Team. That might have shifted gears because I've found such a passion through school. The National Team, that would be an absolutely unbelievable experience. It is the top 20 players in the United States of America. While that's definitely a goal, I don't know how reasonable that is. If you get in the right places and perform well, it could happen."
Yet with a degree from Auburn and a burning desire to help others, Frierson has a lot to fall back on. And one day, she will have a chance to reflect on her remarkable Auburn career.
"My experience at Auburn has been wonderful. If I could do it all again I would not go to another school. The people in Auburn, the academics you're getting, the overall environment is just unbelievable. I don't think you could have a better experience."
More Auburn Football Headlines
More Auburn Headlines