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The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

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Tiger to Spartan: Kinzly Gootman on committing to Case Western Reserve

Kinzly Gootman
GOOTMAN’S GLORY – Senior Kinzly Gootman committed to Case Western Reserve University over the summer. Gootman is a co-captain of the JR girl’s varsity soccer team and plans to go pre-med at Case.

The sound of an alarm goes off at 6 AM and Kinzly Gootman is out the door, leading warm-ups for the Jackson-Reed Girls Varsity soccer team. Gootman, a senior at JR and co-captain of the girl’s soccer team, committed to Case Western Reserve as a center back over the summer. 

Ever since she started playing soccer at age three in her brother’s kindergarten recreational games, Gootman knew she had a passion for the sport. “I just immediately fell in love with it and knew I wanted to play travel,” Gootman said. As she grew up and continued to progress as a player, at only 11 years old Gootman developed dreams of playing college soccer. “There was this one coach that I had that played soccer in college, and she would tell me about her experience and how fun it was,” explained Gootman. 

She started to make these dreams a reality when she went to identification (ID) camps where players visit and play at schools in front of college coaches. She invited coaches from all over the country to showcases and sent out many emails to reach them. The recruitment process, although an exciting time, brought challenges with it; “I think it’s a very stressful process, and it makes you question your self-worth a lot. It’s just so competitive and schools are [only] taking 6-9 players per class,” Gootman said. She adds that there are countless other players who could be just like her, and “it’s just about standing out to a coach.”

When it came to choosing a school, three specific factors stood out to her: the medical school, the competitiveness, and the coaching philosophy. “I want to go pre-med and [Case Western] has 3 hospitals within 2 miles of campus. I’ll be busy, but that was a big thing for what I was looking for most in a college,” Gootman said. She is the president of JR’s biomedical academy. Case Western is also in the UAA conference, the most competitive D3 conference, and Gootman highlights the fact that she and her team can then play in the national championships. 

After visiting a D1 school, Gootman decided that wasn’t what she wanted in a college, deciding  to go D3 because there is a greater balance between social life and soccer. “You’re put under a lot less stress which is good because you want to keep your love for the game without feeling like you’re overloaded.”

If there are times when Gootman does feel overloaded, the team aspect inspires her to keep pushing. “It’s so fun to be with people that become your best friends, and you spend so much time with them but you kind of never get tired of them,” Gootman remarks. 

She is excited to build even more connections and relationships within her new team at Case Western, as well as compete on a higher level. Although wanting to embrace a new challenge, Gootman adds, “that’s also what I’m nervous about. What if I get to the next level and it’s too much?”

Even so, Gootman is eager to overcome any obstacles. “To me, soccer is kind of a puzzle and I love puzzles and so I’m constantly solving problems. It just works my brain in a way that makes me excited to play every time.” 

Soon, Gootman will wake up next fall to an all-too-familiar alarm sound, and she will be warming up for her first game as a Spartan.

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Edith Corrigan Conaty, Spread Editor
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