When it came to making a choice on where she would play college soccer Madison-Plains senior Kaili Patterson knew she had to be relatively close to home.
With a total of six younger siblings at home, the standout wanted to make sure she could see her younger brothers and sisters in their extracurricular activities and wanted family to be able to see her play.
That perfect place turned out to be Urbana University, as the senior inked her name to play for the Blue Knights in a ceremony held at the high school Wednesday, April 5.
“The culture of the school was really nice, the history behind it,” Patterson said. “But I’ve talked to a lot of coaches but when I talked to coach (Kevin) Mounce I just really felt that this was the program that I would fit the best with.
“I was looking at Franklin University in Indiana, Otterbein University, Shawnee State and Ohio Christian University, I had a couple offers but Urbana was the best fit for me.”
The proximity of the campus to her home also played a big role in the decision.
“I’m a family person, I love being a part of my family, I would love to have my family there watching some of my games,” she said. “Urbana only being a half hour away not only allows me to see their stuff, but for them to come see mine. It’s perfect.”
Being the oldest sibling brings responsibilities and the expectation that you’re setting an example for your younger brothers and sisters. Patterson said she embraces this and looks forward to continuing to set the example for others.
“I always want to be the big sister, the whole role of being the big sister and being the role model,” she said. “I want them looking at me and thinking hey Kai went and did that, that’s what I want to do.”
Patterson only played her senior season at Madison-Plains High School after moving into the district. The year prior to her arrival the Golden Eagles didn’t have a girls team, meaning she played a year with a collection of girls who didn’t have a lot of experience. Did this help her develop as leader?
“This was my first year here, coming into a first-year program, you have to accept what’s here and help build, it helped me become more of a team player.”
The Urbana women’s team is coming off a 3-13-1 record from a year ago.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.