TKI has the pleasure of working with goalkeeper Caroline Casey during this 2016 NWSL season with Sky Blue FC. Casey was selected by Sky Blue FC at no. 29 overall (third round) in the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft. She is coming off an All-America First Team senior season at the College of William and Mary, recording a 0.88 goals-against-average, 86 saves and 11 shutouts while claiming 2015 CAA Defensive Player of the Year accolades. The Virginia native started every game of her college career and finished with 301 saves (second all-time), 29 saves (third all-time) and 48 wins. Catch some insight from my of the NWSL starting goalkeepers.
TKI: How has your professional experience been so far? What was it like to play in your first professional game this year as a rookie?
I am really enjoying playing at this level. It is a unique environment, where you can be constantly surrounded by talented coaches and teammates. Playing in a professional game was everything I had wished for and more. Playing in my first game as a rookie was incredibly nerve-racking but as soon as the game started all of my fears and anxiety melted away. The atmosphere in the stadium and the feeling of cohesiveness amongst the team was amazing and is something I will cherish forever.
TKI: What has been the biggest adjustment going from the college game to the professional level?
The biggest difference between college and pros is the pace of the game and attention to detail. Due to the fact that the pace is quicker I have to think ahead in terms of communication, positioning, and distribution. I have to think about all of the little parts of the game because they make such a difference at this level.
TKI: Where do you want to take your playing career and how are you working to make that happen?
I aspire to play for the US National program and hope to one day be given that opportunity. I am trying to achieve this by finding playing environments where I can be challenged and pushed outside of my comfort zone. I have and will continue to search for positive places that foster development and growth because I feel I still have so much to learn.
TKI: How has training with TKI been? Do you think you have made any particular adjustments or improvements to help better your game?
Amazing! I love going to TKI to train because every session is different and has a clear objective. When I leave a session I always feel like I got a good workout in that was challenging and goalkeeper specific. Since starting at TKI, I believe my set shape and foot skills have improved. I still have a long way to go but now I know the theory and have a better understanding of what shape/movements I am working toward.
TKI: What is the best piece of advice you can give a young goalkeeper who wants to play at the highest level and achieve all their dreams?
If soccer is something you are truly passionate about then don't be afraid to fight for your opportunities. Things usually won't just fall into place. If you want something, you have to work for it and make it happen. Nothing worthwhile comes easily, so you must be willing to make sacrifices. Be willing to be uncomfortable, be willing to make mistakes, and be willing to get frustrated. Once you can accept these things then you can start to make progress and you will be rewarded. Finally remember to have fun! Soccer is bigger than just yourself, it's a team sport and at the end of the day it's still just a sport.
Follow Caroline Casey and the rest of Sky Blue FC's season HERE!