Beyond the Jersey: A second chance for a Cajun soccer player

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Taylor Kennedy is a fifth-year senior for the Ragin Cajuns women’s soccer team.

Her love for the sport is the one thing that has stayed constant throughout her life.

“It’s been a huge part of my life because with my dad’s job I’ve moved around a lot and soccer is the one thing that I would always be on a soccer team that’s how I would make most of my friends,” Kennedy says.

The field, no matter where the location, was always Kennedy’s one true home.

“You go, you’re in a new place, new home, new school, new people but that’s one kind of constant, you know, soccer. I mean yeah you change formation and stuff but it’s like the one thing that never changes. The team that I’ve always been on has been like kind of like a little family for me everywhere I move,” says Kennedy.

Kennedy was finally able to plant her roots on the Ragin Cajun field and call it her home for the next four years. But all of that changed going into her senior year when she tore her ACL.

“It was really tough first off because my parents lived overseas at the time. It was scary not having your mom and dad there and not being able to get in touch with them because when it happened they’re nine hours ahead of me so it was like the middle of the night for them,” Kennedy says.

With her family halfway around the world, Kennedy relied on her teammates and her passion for the sport to recover.

“I could hardly kick the ball with my left leg so I knew that I wouldn’t get to play much so it was scary at first but I think it being right before my senior year really motivated me to rehab quicker,” Kennedy explains.

Unfortunately, Kennedy knew she wasn’t fully recovered come game time her senior year, but thankfully, she was given a second chance and was eligible to play as a fifth-year senior.

“Second chance is always awesome but I guess I was really thankful to coach Scott that he felt like I was important enough to keep around and I was just really thankful to the girls the senior class that I ended up finishing with they really let me become a part of their group and the team was just awesome, they made it all worth it. They made it worth sticking around and being the old geezers on the team,” she explains.

Kennedy has some words of wisdom for future athletes who may face the challenge of not knowing their future on the field.

“Injury is not the end. I came out of my injury better than I was before in so many different ways so if you keep the right attitude and use it for motivation rather than let it bum you out you can accomplish great things,” Kennedy says

Kennedy played in 17 games this year and scored one goal against Northwestern State.

The Cajuns finished this season 5-10-2.

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