Two former Cobbler soccer players have found the differences between college and high school soccer are substantial but enjoyable.
“You always hear that the biggest difference between high school and college soccer is the speed of play and physicality, and that’s the truth.” These are the words of former Central student athlete Kyra Butler, a current sophomore at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas. Both Butler and former Cobbler Sarra Gutknecht–also playing at Newman–have noted that soccer in college is significantly different than soccer in high school.
Butler believes the biggest difference in college soccer is the level of physicality. “The referees let a lot go, and if you aren’t more physical you get pushed off the ball,” she said. Butler also noted another major difference is the caliber of competition. “In high school there were usually one or two very good players on the other team, but in college every girl on the other team is good.” Since she was a starter her freshman year, Butler believes she understands the game better than most. To her, starting as a freshman was “lucky and unlucky. Your coaches expect a lot out of you, and there’s no difference between a freshman and a senior if you’re playing; you must be on your A game.” Overall, she believes that despite the pressure, “if you’re up for the task it can be rewarding.”
Freshman Sarra Gutknecht believes the biggest difference in college soccer is the level of play. “Everyone on a college team is usually pretty serious about soccer, so it’s just at a higher level all around,” she said. She also noted the pressure to perform in every game is much higher in college, along with a higher level of expectation. “The game is more fast paced, and you’re raised to a much higher standard of playing,” Gutknecht said. As to which she prefers–high school or college soccer–Gutknecht said she prefers college soccer, because it “challenges me to be a better player.”
Both athletes plan on pursuing their love of the game throughout college.
Photo courtesy of Sarra and Kyra