Athelete of the Week: Alyssa Kruse

by Taylor Deaton
Staff Writer

First-year Alyssa Kruse has already amassed five goals this season. This offensive dynamism has helped the Pioneers to their current 5-1 record.

Just five games into the season, first-year striker Alyssa Kruse has hit the ground running as she begins her collegiate soccer career. A Lexington native, Kruse recently racked up four goals in two games at the Marietta College Showcase.

As a team, Transylvania started its season with a surge of enthusiasm and well-warranted hype after being voted the preseason No. 1 by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches and dominating the University of Pikeville in a scrimmage before the official start to the season.

A quick reality check came with a season-opening loss to Centre College. But the team rebounded well by picking up a 4-1 win against Point Park University in the opening game of the Marietta Showcase, and then turned in a resounding shutout victory against the hosts, 3-0.

Kruse shined brightly in both wins. Along with a pair of goals in each game, she also contributed two assists against Point Park.

Coach Michael Fulton has been impressed with Kruse’s skill set, and he agrees with the first-year that her speed is her greatest asset.

“Alyssa is a talented player with a good mix of speed and skill, so she causes problems for any opposing team,” Fulton said.

Equally as impressive has been her quick acclimation into the collegiate game.

“Alyssa played at a high level with her club team, and her high school team was very good as well, so her experience puts her ahead of the game,” said Fulton.

Kruse exhibits the quality and intensity of a player several years her senior, blossoming at a stage when many first-year players are still struggling to find their feet.

Kruse credits a large part of her early success to the advice of a club coach.

“He told me that when I came to Transy, I wasn’t a freshman, I was a player,” Kruse said. “It helped me to relax and keep my focus on the game.”

That relaxed focus has served Kruse well, leading to success on the field. In addition, the familial bond she shares with her teammates has allowed her to play without distractions.

“The girls on the team have all made the transition much easier on me. They made me feel welcome from the first day,” Kruse said.

Fulton is confident Kruse will continue performing well.

“I know she will continue to score goals and only improve as she gets more experience at this level,” Fulton said. “If she keeps up this pace she will be a candidate for HCAC Freshman of the Year.”

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