The Bartlesville High School soccer team has some youth on their squad helping to make sure their opponents don’t pick up any points. Sawyer Kirkland is a sophomore goalkeeper for the Lady Bruins.
“I started goalkeeping when I was 10,” Kirkland said. “I really fell in love with the sport when I started playing goalkeeper full time, and when I started playing competitive soccer. It was then when soccer began to have a competitive strategy, and there was a purpose more than just kicking the ball around. That emphasized the team aspect of the sport to help accomplish our goals in both senses of the word.”
Kirkland went on to say this year’s season has been riddled with injuries, but morale is high and confidence is blooming.
“Our season has been eventful,” she said. “We had many major injuries in the beginning, but I am super proud of my teammates’ resilience, and quite a few freshmen have stepped up to keep us afloat. Team morale is optimistic going into the rest of our district games. We know that if we want a chance to go to the playoffs, we will have to go into the games ready to play and play how we know to play.”
When it comes to character, Kirkland has set a high bar for herself.
“I define character by reflecting and imitating Jesus Christ,” she said. “Specifically on the field, I try to display character by being encouraging and positive, and part of that is forgiveness. Making sure to value each of my teammates, seeing that they each have something to offer to the game is also how I try to display character because it creates a better environment for everyone when there isn’t as much division.”
In her free time, Kirkland is busy at church or her club soccer practice. She is also a soccer referee and is learning to play the ukulele.