Anna Keeling: Athlete of the Month

Alexandra Suttner, Staff Writer

Senior soccer player Anna Keeling was selected as January’s Athlete of the Month for her leadership on the field as a part of the girls soccer team this year.

Keeling played the full 90 minutes in all seven of the team’s matches this season, accounting for three goals. Her coaches have helped her develop ball skills, speed, and understanding of the game, which makes her stand out.

“It’s helped to have great coaches teach me the technical and tactical aspect of the game from a young age, and the year-round high-level competition pushes me to get better every day,” Keeling said.

Since the age of four, soccer has been an important part of Keeling’s life. She is currently playing on Strikers ECNL and began playing on the school team last year as a junior. Keeling’s versatility allows her to play multiple positions depending on her team’s needs, including the outside back, wingback, midfield, and forward.

Throughout Keeling’s soccer career, she has faced adversity. She has suffered multiple injuries that have forced her to the sideline, sometimes for several months.

“I have faced a lot of challenges throughout my years playing soccer. I dislocated my peroneal tendon my freshman year. It required surgery and I was out for eight to nine months. Last summer, I broke my collarbone into three pieces and had surgery . . . and missed another four months.”

The pandemic changed the dynamic of sports, as teams had to focus on safer ways for players to practice and stay fit. For Keeling’s club team, this included socially distanced practices and travel games in Arizona.

Last March, Keeling announced her commitment to play Division 1 soccer at Colgate University this fall, where she received an athletic scholarship. This decision allows Keeling to be a part of a challenging soccer program, while focusing on her academics at a top tier university.

“Colgate [has] phenomenal coaches, high academics, and a competitive soccer program. I’ve loved every person I’ve met at Colgate, from the coaches and staff to my future teammates,” said Keeling.

This summer, before Keeling’s freshman year starts, she will begin preseason training. During this time, she is excited to meet her future classmates and teammates. Once the season starts, her week will be filled with the typical freshman activities along with soccer.

“I will report to campus about a month before school starts for preseason. We will have a busy schedule in the fall, with games and daily practices in the afternoon after classes,” Keeling said.