Forward progress

By Kristen Davis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
August 28, 1996

Gregory Harris
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Christine Keeley, senior co-captain of the Arizona women's soccer team, will help lead the Wildcats this season.


After two seasons of building a solid team, the Arizona women's soccer team is looking to senior co-captain Christine Keeley to help it make an impact this season.

Keeley, a 5-foot-3 forward who was a four-year letter winner at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, is ready to give her all this season.

"I can't hold back," Keeley said. "We've got the talent to do it this season."

Keeley played soccer at Washington her freshman year. She decided to transfer to Arizona after an injury-plagued freshman year.

"I had to reevaluate some things, so I decided to come home (to Tucson) and get healthy after my surgery and then decide what to do from there," Keeley said.

Keeley said it was fortunate that Arizona had made the commitment to start the women's soccer program that season.

She redshirted during the Wildcats' 1994 inaugural season in order to recover from reconstructive knee surgery.

Last season, however, Keeley was Arizona's leading scorer with 11 goals. In addition, she received second-team All-Pacific 10 Conference honors.

Head coach Lisa Fraser said Keeley has a strong presence on the soccer field.

"Every time she gets the ball something is going to happen," Fraser said. "She's going to create something."

Fraser said she expects to see even more from Keeley this season.

"I think Christine has learned my system a little bit more and has a good understanding of it," Fraser said.

With 12 new players and an experienced group of returners, Keeley said the team has a lot of talent. She said the team has also acquired some depth it hasn't had the last two seasons.

Since Keeley considers herself more of a field captain, she is focusing on keeping a positive and upbeat attitude toward the freshmen this season.

"We know these freshmen are coming in with a lot of talent so we want to boost their self-esteem," she said. "We want them challenging us for starting positions."

Fraser described Keeley as a strong teacher of the game who sets high standards.

"I think it's a learning situation for the freshmen because Christine is very intense on the field and that's what this level is all about," Fraser said.

Keeley, an exercise and sport sciences major, will graduate in December. Keeley said Arizona's soccer program has been a wonderful experience she will never forget.

"The environment that our coaches have instilled and allowed for us has been great academically, on the field and off of the field," Keeley said. "I think I made a great decision because of the people and the environment."

Although Keeley will be graduating in December, she said she expects her soccer career to continue.

"I can't see myself stopping here. There's a lot of things I would still like to do with soccer," she said.

Keeley is exploring many options, including playing semi-professionally in the United States, playing outside the country or getting an assistant coaching position at a Division I school.

Keeley has been the head coach of the women's junior varsity soccer team at Salpointe for 31/2 seasons.

"Coaching at Salpointe has been a lot of fun," Keeley said. "Salpointe has been a dynasty in soccer for as long as they've had soccer in Tucson. You always want to be able to help with that in any way you can."

Fraser said she is happy Keeley decided to transfer to Arizona.

"Christine has been a real pleasure to coach," Fraser said, "and a fun player to work with."