Swarthmore’s first Athlete of the Week for the 2019 fall season is Kim Kockenmeister ’22 of the Swarthmore women’s soccer team. She was voted Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week for women’s soccer after netting four goals in Swarthmore’s 7-1 win against Eastern Connecticut State on September 1st. Kockenmeister is a Greenwich, Connecticut resident majoring in computer science, and also plays on the women’s basketball team. Kockenmeister scored her first goal about four minutes in, added her second just after the ten minute mark, and scored two goals in the second half of the game. Kockenmeister and the rest of the Swarthmore women’s soccer team will be in action at Clothier Field on Friday evening vs. Stevens University.
Joe Barile: What was your confidence level at in a game where you scored four times?
Kim Kockenmeister: I really focused on putting myself in the best position where I could get the rebound or follow my teammates’ shots. That’s how I scored two of my goals; I was just simply in the right spot at the right time. The other goals were from different angles but were shots I’ve practiced many times. [Head] Coach Todd [Anckaitis] has been helping me to find my shot and working on my attack which I really appreciate. It helped that my teammates were supportive of me and kept feeding me the ball. It made me feel as though they trusted me led to more confidence, so I couldn’t have done it without them.
JB: How does it feel to tie the Centennial Conference record for goals in a game?
KK: It’s still a surreal feeling for me, but to say the least I feel proud because I worked really hard this summer. Especially to see it show up so early in this season makes me optimistic for what’s to come. While I feel more confident going in, this also makes me want to keep working hard. I have a new standard for myself and want to continue to improve and play for my teammates. None of the goals could have happened without them.
JB: How has playing a season of college soccer already helped you?
KK: I definitely think coming in as a sophomore, I was able to be better prepared for the year. I now know what the intensity level Division III soccer is and I have been able to adapt my mental and physical game. I learned from some of the best players in the conference and changed over the summer to make myself better.
JB: Do you think that your experience/skills on the basketball court benefits you in any way when you play soccer?
KK: Basketball has allowed me to think faster because the game is constantly moving and your transitions from defense to offense can be within seconds. I have learned to think faster in decision making and adapting to different situations. Basketball is all about plays and working with your teammates on the court so I see that component on the soccer field.
JB: How has the group of forwards on the team responded to the graduation of All-American forward Marin [McCoy ’19]?
KK: Marin is definitely one of the best forwards I have been fortunate enough to work with. She left such big shoes to fill, but I think all the forwards have been working really hard to fill that void. We are still learning to work with one another and getting used to working in different pairs and learning each others strengths and weakness. I have no doubt that we will figure out a system that works best for us.