Caldwell County senior girls’ soccer players Kelsie Adams and Kaylee McEnaney signed their National Letters-of-Intent on Friday to play soccer at Campbellsville University-Harrodsburg.
The student-athletes were joined by family and friends at an event held at Caldwell County High School’s Fine Arts Building.
While the two will be playing for the Pioneers, they are themselves pioneers, as the Harrodsburg women’s soccer team is in its first season this year.
CUH participates in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Mideast Region Division II, along with Boyce College and Simmons College of Kentucky, Johnson University and Watch College of Tennessee, Grace Christian University and Great Lakes Christian College of Michigan and Appalachian Bible College of West Virginia.
“We literally have a million-dollar fieldhouse just for soccer,” said CUH head coach Paul Brooks. “We have a wonderful game pitch and also a separate practice pitch.
“It’s a real sense of community. It’s a very small town, so they’ll feel at home in that regard.”
Brooks said that the Lady Tigers joining his program will bring chemistry to his team next year.
“They’ve already developed that, playing over the years,” he said. “That’s interesting to me as a coach and a great asset to our program.”
Brooks said that McEnaney would wear No. 24 and Adams would wear No. 25.
“Where they play on the pitch, they’ll be playing right behind each other, so we think that will be pretty neat as well,” he said.
“Kelsey has played mostly defense here at Caldwell County, but she’s got great communication skills and moves well with the ball, so we’ll probably move her up into one of the defensive midfielder positions, where she can take chances and move the ball forward to someone, and it might just well be Kaylee.”
McEnaney was the offensive leader for the Tigers this season, scoring 11 of the team’s 33 goals and handing out eight assists, leading the team in both categories.
McEnaney closed out her four-year CCHS career with 47 goals and 33 assists, with 45 goals and 31 assists coming over the last three seasons.
Adams was known for being a defensive machine for CCHS, causing turnovers and turning the momentum of the game in the Lady Tigers’ favor.
Adams and McEnaney want to pursue a career in nursing, with Adams seeking a position in neonatal nursing and McEnaney seeking a position in esthetic nursing, working with Botox and other skin-care treatments.
CCHS third-year head coach Rhett Miller spoke highly of his players and their dedication to the sport.
“It’s great to see them go on to the next level, knowing that they did a great job at the level that I was able to coach them,” he said. “(CUH) is getting leadership. They’re going to be very excited about that — both in their skill and leadership. I think it will be exciting to see what they do in the next four years.”
Miller said that Adams was the best defensive player for all four of her years at CCHS, while McEnaney was the best offensive player her junior and senior years.
Miller said this was the first time any of his players had signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play at a college or university.
“I think all the girls underneath them looked up to those two girls,” he said of the players’ legacy to the Lady Tigers. “They’re going to be missed drastically. I think they all feel like they have big shoes to fill…but I’m sure I’ll have some girls step up and do that.”
Adams and McEnaney were both excited to commit to playing in college.
“It’s definitely a dream come true,” Adams said. “We’ve been wanting to do it since we were little, and I think it’s just awesome that we’re doing it together.”
Adams said she was 3 years old when she started playing soccer.
“I tried other sports over the years, but just never felt the love and the draw like I did for soccer,” she said.
Adams added that playing at an in-state school about 25 miles from Lexington would give her the ability to be independent while being able to come home when she wants.
McEnaney was 4 or 5 years old when she started playing soccer and also dreamed of playing at a higher level.
“It honestly doesn’t feel real,” she said. “I’ve been playing my whole life and…you see people playing in college and I thought, ‘I’m not that good to be playing in college.’ But I just kept working for it, and here I am.”
McEnaney said it was fantastic to think of herself as the offensive go-to in her first year at college.
“It kind of blows my mind,” she said. “The program just started up, so there’s a bunch of space to be filled and a bunch of soccer to be played for this school.”
McEnaney said choosing a school within the state of Kentucky “made the most sense” for her.
“First, you get the KEES (Kentucky Education Excellence Scholarship) money, and I can come home and visit,” she said. “It’s not too far of a drive, and I can just come home whenever I want.”
Adams is the daughter of Brad and Bonnie Adams, while McEnaney is the daughter of Joe and Kathy McEnaney.
More information on the CUH women’s soccer team can be found at harrodsburg.gocutigers.com.