Tiger of the Week: Kathryn Ruark

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Sport: Soccer

Position: Forward

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Oshkosh, Wis.

The women’s soccer team is on its way to play in the conference championship thanks in part to forward Kathryn Ruark. After DePauw went into double overtime against Wittenberg in the semi-final, Ruark knocked in the game-winning goal to give the Tigers a 2-1 win . Ruark is a sophomore transfer from Wionna State. Yesterday, The DePauw had the opportunity to talk with Ruark about her goal and the team’s mindset heading into the conference championship on Saturday.

The DePauw: How does this moment compare to others in past seasons of your soccer career?

Kathryn Ruark: It’s definitely very close to the top. I’d probably give it the number one or two spot. This is my first year playing at the collegiate level because I decided not to play last year. So it’s kind of a bigger stage. The other moment was high school… It was a great moment, but this one I think… it might top it because being the collegiate level, it’s the next step... it was really good.

TDP: What made you want to play this year?

KR: I was going to play last year but last minute decided not to. And then during my freshman year, I realized that I just really missed the game, I missed being a part of the team. I’m really familiar with DePauw; I’m from Terre Haute.

TDP: After your goal, what was the atmosphere of the team?

KR: We’re all pretty excited. It’s a great atmosphere right now. Before the game, we just shared a lot of great moments, a lot of music and getting excited because this is what we’ve been preparing for. Winning the regular season conference title is not enough for us. Our goal is to get farther, and so I think this is just the next step. Winning that game was big, and now we have the next chance on Saturday.

TDP: Personally for you, what was running through your head in that moment, before and after the goal?

KR: The cross got sent in by one of our defenders. I knew it wasn’t going to get to me, but then it just landed in my lap and then, I just barely remember, but I finished.

TDP: What do you think you’ll remember most about the moment?

KR: I barely remember the goal, so I think it was just like the team atmosphere with the team running onto the field. We knew it was going to be a good game. We controlled most of it, so going into overtime wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted to finish in regulation. I think getting the win as a team was the best part.

TDP: This was a team that you had played down to the wire during the regular season. Do you think this represents the style of play for DePauw?

KR: I think it is. We never give up. Last time we played Wittenberg we scored in the first overtime period with like four minutes in, so we just took it right to them. I think we struggled a little bit [in last night’s game] in the start of overtime. But our team never gives up. We kept pushing, and we made it through.

TDP: What is your mentality heading into the championship after scoring the goal? Is it a confidence booster?

KR: Absolutely. I wouldn’t say my play during regulation was great, so when the coaches gave me another chance in overtime, I felt like they trusted me. They sent me to the line to get subbed in and said, “go finish this, get the goal." Actually getting it is an incredible confidence booster. Taking it into Saturday, I think we’ll perform very well.