On a championship team made up of mostly underclassmen, Broad Run High girls’ soccer player and senior Kelly Smith brought leadership, a solid work ethic and quality play to the Spartans’ team.
So many key parts made up Broad Run’s incredible, unbeaten state AA championship run this past spring. The team had extremely skilled players at all positions, and outstanding depth as well.
In Smith, one of two seniors on the squad (the other being Carina Chavez), the Spartans had a count-on, outside midfielder player who let her steady play do the talking. She finished the season with 10 goals and six assists for the 24-0 Broad Run team. She scored one of her team’s goals in its 4-1-state semifinals victory over Hidden Valley of Roanoke on June 6 at Radford University. That score gave Broad Run a 3-1 lead with just under 13 minutes remaining in the contest.
The Spartans won the game and ultimately garnered the state crown the following afternoon by defeating Courtland High, 1-0.
Smith, a team tri-captain for the Spartans during the spring season, said Broad Run experienced its vast success partly as a result of its team cohesiveness.
"I think it’s our team chemistry," she said. "We really have grown together. Our goal was to go all the way."
<b>SMITH</b>, who just recently graduated with her senior classmates, was a four-year varsity starter for Broad Run. Coach Claire Collins loved Smith’s on-field demeanor during games and her focus on being a quality player and leader.
"She’s a quiet leader who leads by her skills," said Collins, of the steady Smith. "She’s a great kid and comes from a great family. She’s a talented player."
Smith’s speed and powerful kicks were two of her best physical skills as a player.
"She can shoot the ball from far outside," said Collins. "Her kicks are so powerful."
She also has a nose for the ball and the goal. On her state semis score, she broke free off the right side and saw her initial shot attempt thwarted. But she pounced on the loose ball and knocked it into the net for the goal that pretty much iced the contest.
Fittingly, Broad Run’s other senior, Chavez, scored the game’s final goal late in that contest to account for the 4-1 final.
<b>SHE HAS ALWAYS</b> loved playing the sport. At age 12, Smith played within the Sterling Youth Association league. In more recent years, she has been a member of the Net Force U17 and McLean Premier U18 travel teams.
"I love the adrenaline you get from playing on a team and wanting to win," said Smith,
who will be attending Old Dominion University this upcoming school year.
Smith plans on studying graphic design in college. At Broad Run, she was a member of the National Technical Honor Society. She split her time in school buildings between Broad Run and the Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg.
"I made friends at both schools," she said, with a smile.
The future certainly looks awfully bright for the quiet leader who helped lead Broad Run soccer to greatness.