As far as rookie seasons go Red Deer’s Kaitlyn Lomsnes pretty much nailed it.
The first year soccer player at the University of Wyoming managed to win the Mountain West scoring title with 10 goals and four assists.
For her efforts the 18-year-old was named the top freshman in the Mountain West conference and captured the conference’s Most Outstanding Offensive player award, the first time a freshman has accomplished that.
“The girls on and off the field kept supporting me and helping me through it all. My coaches kept pushing me and all that hard work we we’re doing together as a team paid off,” she said about this dream season for a rookie. “I don’t know what exactly happened but I found my groove.”
Coming into the year she was worried about how she might perform as she was coming off a severe ankle injury. It appears that wasn’t an issue as she was the only freshman from the NCAA Division I school to make the first team all-star squad.
The graduate of Hunting Hills High School spent some time within the Red Deer City Soccer Association before heading to Calgary and eventually suiting up with the U-18 team.
It wasn’t as if she was competing against watered-down competition but she said there were teams which had weaker players you could key on. The experience wasn’t quite the same on the university soccer pitches.
“Everyone is strong and it’s so much more focused and intense for you to perform at your best.”
She credits her coaches for putting in extra time with her and teammates who would join her in workouts in addition to practice. But even if she was healthy coming into year one, Lomsnes admits the result of the hard work was still surprising.
“Obviously when I came here I didn’t want to sit on the bench. I never was that type of player to sit on the bench and be okay with it,” she said.
Being a rookie didn’t dominate her thoughts on the pitch however and she said her coach had the faith in her physical and mental toughness to play her as much as possible.
“He always pushes me and he knows I can handle the pressure of doing better each game and I think that is what contributed to my success.”
As proud as she is with the personal records she has her name attached to she says the team goal of winning a title is the focus of this off-season.
The Cowgirls finished second in their league and lost in overtime to San Diego at the Mountain West tournament which kept them from continuing in the NCAA tournament.
She has three more years to work on any league records and to capture a league title as she finishes off her degree in veterinarian medicine.
But she still wants to step it up a notch for the encore.
“I’m hoping to set the record for most goals in the league which is 12,” she said.
“Our team goal would definitely be to win our Mountain West title and then continue on in the conference.”
Her end goal is to become a horse vet but her strong play has attracted the attention of some national team officials which may extend her soccer career after school is over.
“That could always be a possibility but right now I’m not too concerned with continuing on with soccer after university. I’m more interested in starting my career with horses.”
Just another goal for her to reach.