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May 11, 2023
Ariel Kite was just three years old when she touched her first soccer ball. Now, at 18, she’s preparing to travel 350 miles away from her American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) fields and continue her career as a goalie for Kenyon College. As a liberal arts college with just under 2,000 undergrads, Kenyon was exactly the place that Kite was looking for to call her home for the next four years.
“I wanted to go to a small school, because I’m studying political science, so I just thought that’d be the best fit for me and my major,” she said. “I really got along well with the coaches at Kenyon. I really liked the culture [both] academically and on the soccer team; it’s very collaborative, and everyone’s super nice.”
Mirroring her early exposure to the sport of soccer in general, Kite began her recruiting journey early on as well. After attending a showcase her freshman year, Kite started receiving interest from Division III schools, and she decided she wanted to pursue collegiate soccer. Unfortunately, Kite’s plans took an unexpected turn the following year.
“COVID hit my sophomore year, so it cut my club season sophomore year. I didn’t get a club season, which was pretty prime for recruiting in soccer, so I spent all of my sophomore year [doing] fall and winter training and emailing schools training film, which helped a little bit, but [it’s] obviously not the same as them seeing you play.”
Nonetheless, Kite was able to overcome these unprecedented challenges and start off her junior year with interest from several schools, one of which being Kenyon, but it wasn’t until a year later that Kite committed.
“[At] the end of my junior year, going into senior year that summer, I was still going to ID camps and still looking at a bunch of different schools,” she said. “I finished up my visits [at] the beginning of senior year, and I just decided that Kenyon had wanted me the whole time, the coach loves me, and that was just the best fit for me.”
Although Kite looks forward to a new level of gameplay and chapter of her life, she still looks back on her time at Evanston with gratitude and nostalgia.
“I love Evanston girls soccer. I just love getting to play for my school and going to school with my best friends and having friends in different age groups [who are] people I wouldn’t talk to normally [if we hadn’t met] through soccer,” she said. “At Kenyon, they gave me that same vibe. Everyone was really close friends and hung out a lot, and there’s a lot of school spirit and rivalries with other schools in the conference, so I think that’s what I’m most excited about.”