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San Antonio – Kelly Dowd has had to overcome a lot over the last two years to keep on the field for the St. Mary’s University Rattlers women’s soccer team. The senior from Plano suffered a season-ending injury prior to the 2008 season and had to watch from the sidelines. Then this year, after going through months of rehab, she suffered another injury. But this time she was able to fight through it and has been a vital member of the Rattler defense.

Despite her injury, Dowd has played in 17 of 18 games this season and has helped lead a back line that is giving up just 1.68 goals per game this season. Individually, Dowd scored her second career goal, the game-winner, against the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Falcons.

Dowd talked about the injuries she’s overcome, what she’s learned from soccer and where she wants to go next.

Q: When do you graduate?
May 2010

Q: What is your major?
I am double majoring in Marketing and Information Systems Management.

Q: What are you most proud of over the course of your college career?
My freshman year I wasn’t focused on school or soccer, but I eventually grew up and made a lot of changes that spurred me to work harder in both areas.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment as a member of the Rattler team?
I was pretty proud when our team won the community service award last year.

Q: What has been the most difficult thing you have had to overcome?
Playing this season with torn cartilage in my hips.

Q: What is the worst injury you have had playing soccer?
I had to have surgery for a double sports hernia my junior year.

Q: What motivates you to succeed?
My parents always pushed me to try my hardest, no matter what I was doing. I am also a very competitive person – I think partly because my twin sister and I would compete in everything when we were little and I didn’t enjoy losing to her.

Q: What do you do in your spare time outside of school and soccer?
I like reading, working out and watching movies.

Q: Does your family come down to see your games?
My parents live in Dallas but they try to make it down to as many games as possible, especially this year since it’s my last. I love having them there, because no matter how we do, they are always really supportive.

Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I always have to drink caffeine and listen to my iPod.

Q: Who are your role models in soccer?
When I was little I looked up to Mia Hamm and Kristine Lily.

Q: Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
“The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t’ is you. And you don’t have to listen.” – Nike

Q: What were your preseason goals for this team and where do you think the team stands currently in relation to those goals?
Although we had a difficult fall season the previous year, our performance in the spring looked very promising. Therefore, I think we all believed that if we worked together as a team starting in August we would be successful. Obviously we haven’t lived up to our own expectations and it’s been a little disheartening. But from losses come lessons and hopefully each player will take something away from this season and apply it to the next season or to their lives in general.

Q: What can you take from your soccer life and incorporate into your everyday life?
The values of hard work, time management, teamwork, dealing with stress, and a lot more. At my internship this past summer I had the opportunity to experience the similarities between business and soccer firsthand. In both you’re working with a team to achieve a common goal. I applied numerous lessons and skills learned from soccer without even realizing it at the time.

Q: What challenge of your sport do you not find in any other sport?
It’s a combination of skill and conditioning – it’s physically and mentally demanding for 90 minutes.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
You can do anything you set your mind to.

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