In The Spotlight - Kerri McCabe

Oct. 2, 2000

Stony Brook, N.Y. - When the Stony Brook women's soccer team took the field for the first time last weekend against Duquesne in the Buffalo Invitational, junior forward Kerri McCabe knew a lot was expected of her. The captain was disappointed in her performance in 1999 and had spent all the months since then working on improving. In her first game of the year, the Kerri McCabe everyone had anticipated emerged.

McCabe scored two goals, including the gamewinner, to lead the Seawolves to a 3-1 win over Duquesne. With a young team that is coping with the loss of three starters and relying on two freshmen to fill in, USB put together a solid performance behind the efforts of McCabe in its first outing. The two goals tied her career high for goals in a game.

"Against Duquesne, we didn't really know what to expect because we had never played them before," McCabe says. "In the first half we played to their level, but we picked it up after halftime. When everyone else raised their level of play, I fed off that and I played better because of my teammates."

For a team whose motto is "Bring It," the Seawolves didn't have much trouble against Canisius in the weekend's second matchup. McCabe, who would earn Stony Brook Athlete of the Week for her efforts, once again netted the gamewinner as Stony Brook coasted to a 6-0 victory.

"We were very excited coming off our win against Duquesne," McCabe says. "We wanted to continue our winning streak and we played really well."

For McCabe, the two wins were the first example of her dedication in the offseason paying off. After spring training, she spent the summer lifting three times a week and running five days a week. But according to McCabe, it was her time on the field that really improved her fitness. She played with both the Lady Riders elite team and the Cold Spring Harbor club team all summer.

"We have never had an athlete work this hard in the spring and summer sessions," head coach Sue Ryan says. "The results of that hard work showed immediately in our first weekend. The fact that she has made a commitment in the weight room has contributed greatly to her success."

The entire team came back from the summer more fit and "ready to play," according to McCabe. That description fits no one better than McCabe herself. After scoring three goals last season, she wanted to find the net more and show that no one deserves her starting position more than she does.

However, McCabe isn't someone who craves to be the center of attention and yearns only for individual success.

"The better every individual is, the better our team will be," she says.

McCabe feels it is her job as a captain and upperclassman to lead her teammates and make sure they are all giving 100 percent. According to her coach, that is exactly what she does.

"Kerri is a leader by example for the rest of the players," Ryan says. "They can look at her as a role model and someone to emulate. Rarely do we see this kind of improvement in a player over the course of two years. The most exciting part is that she still hasn't reached the full extent of her ability."

After such an explosive start to her junior campaign, McCabe only hopes to continue her hot start.

"It makes me a little nervous for everyone to be saying, 'You're doing so great,'" she says. "It's only been two games. I haven't done anything yet. I feel like I have a lot of expectations to meet, and I just hope I can fulfill them all."

If the first weekend of the season is any indication, McCabe will have no trouble showing that she is ready for any challenge that comes her way this season. After all, her track record shows that when she puts her mind to something, nothing will stop her from reaching that goal. Just ask Duquesne and Canisius.