Soccer remains a passion for Kelly Lindsey.
Although her playing days with Millard North, Notre Dame and the pros are behind her, Lindsey is still active in the sport as a coach and as a consultant for youth organizations.
She’s also doing life coaching.
“I’m using what I learned from soccer and sports to help people develop the positive changes they want for the success they are looking for in life,” she said.
She especially loves working with girls in middle school and junior high. Not to help them win or earn scholarships, but to build life skills and character, developing their voice and confidence.
“I think that sets them a world apart from other women in their age group,” she said.
Lindsey has coached at Colorado, Texas, St. Mary’s in California and the University of Chicago and was the manager of the New Jersey Sky Blue FC.
Most recently, she returned to the University of California to further develop its soccer team’s life skills program. Part of that is helping youth sports programs in the area build positive places for kids to play sports.
Lindsey, the first junior to win The World-Herald’s high school girls athlete of the year award, knows what’s she’s talking about.
Lindsey was a standout defender for the Irish, the U.S. national team and San Jose of the WUSA, in which she played three seasons.
She was the top pick in the 2001 WUSA draft and was named rookie of the year by Soccer America magazine. She was the CyberRays’ most valuable defender in 2002 but was forced to retire from the pro game at 23 due to persistent knee injuries.
Lindsey was a two-year team captain in college, and then-coach Randy Waldrum said the Irish needed several seasons to overcome the loss of her leadership. She not only helped her club go 88-11-4, including 32-1-1 in Big East play, but she was also a member of a defensive line that allowed just 59 goals and tallied 62 shutouts in four years.
Lindsey had a foot in what might be the most stinging defeat in the history of the Nebraska soccer program. In 1999, she netted the match-winning penalty kick after the Huskers and Irish battled through four overtimes. Her goal in front of a packed Abbott Sports Complex eliminated NU from the NCAA tournament and put Notre Dame in the Final Four.
That wasn’t her best moment, though. That came in the pros.
“When I was playing for San Jose in the WUSA, and we beat Atlanta for the Founders Cup,” she said. “It was just an awesome game and an awesome moment.”
Played for: Millard North High, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, U.S. national team and WUSA's San Jose CyberRays
Best athlete from Nebraska played with or against: Lincoln Southeast's Emily Anderson, a player Lindsey competed against in basketball and cross country. "I remember her shooting 3-pointers over us all day long at the state tournament. She'd make a 3 then run down the court with her arms up -- like an in-your-face thing. I think she did that to me about 20 times."
Best moment as an athlete: "When I was playing for the San Jose in the WUSA, and we beat Atlanta for the Founders Cup. It was just an awesome game and an awesome moment."
Lindsey was No. 67 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »