Growing up in Phoenix, Ariz., Kelsey Merrigan was the youngest of four siblings. Her family taught Merrigan soccer at a young age, which eventually became her passion. Merrigan’s parents were very supportive of her playing the sport. Playing in high school and various clubs, she became competitive and then she moved to college. When it came time to look at colleges, Merrigan looked at school in her area; soccer and strong academics were her criteria for choosing a school.Eventually, she discovered Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott.

Starting as a freshman in aerospace engineering is challenging enough, but starting as a freshman soccer player at the same time only makes it more daunting. When asked about the major changes, Merrigan said, “It is just soccer. Same sport, but playing against 22 to 23 year olds rather than 18 is a lot different and tougher. However, it is a bigger time commitment. The everyday practices took a while to get used to.” Her favorite thing about soccer is the team environment. “It’s the being able to rely on your teammates when you need help or the friendships you build throughout the season,” Merrigan says, “But I hate fitness days. These are the days everyone dreads.”

Coming from a close family, Merrigan’s parents have come to all the home games that the Lady Eagles have hosted in her first semester. Merrigan’s role model has been and always will be her older sister, who also played soccer in high school. Merrigan looked up to her older sister as she was compared to her a lot. Merrigan has arrived at ERAU in time to help the Lady Eagles achieve the first CALPAC Women’s Soccer Championships. This is a great start to Merrigan’s career at ERAU and with her help there can only be great things on the horizon for the soccer team.

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