By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(March 6, 2014) – Briar Woods High School senior Kira Warner has committed to play soccer at Christopher Newport University beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.
Overcoming multiple injuries, Warner was able to find just the right amount of time to get noticed by CNU head coach Dan Weiler.
“I’ve had three knee surgeries in the past two years so that made the recruiting process a little more difficult and stressful,” said the 5-foot-9 Warner. “Rehabbing my knee on and off for 15 of those months, I only had a small window of time for college coaches to evaluate me. I feel so grateful and fortunate to have found a school and program that I love at CNU, and I am excited to represent the university on the field next year.”
One reason Warner ended up choosing Christopher Newport was because of the soccer program’s storied success, but the senior said more than just that went into the equation.
“The moment I stepped onto CNU’s campus, I had that ‘gut feeling’ that everyone always talks about, and I knew it was a perfect fit,” Warner said. “When looking at colleges, the most important thing for me was finding a school that I would still enjoy even if soccer wasn’t in the picture. Academically, the pre-health program, small class sizes and emphasis on service were all things that appealed to me.”
In 2013, the Division III Captains – including Broad Run graduates Haley Casanova and Sam Rabinek, Loudoun Valley graduate Leah Widdifield and Woodgrove graduate Victoria Perry – went 14-4-2, and earning the No.1 seed in the Capital Athletic Conference going 7-1.
“The CNU soccer team has set high goals, aspiring to not only win their conference, but to also be competitive in the NCAA tournament as well,” said Warner who will play defense for the Captains. “This was their first year under new head coach, Dan Weiler, and he’s looking to have the team play a more possessive, rather than direct, style of play. I’ve grown up playing for possession oriented teams, so I hope to bring my experience with that along with my quick speed of play to the program.”
In 2014, Warner will have help from fellow classmates Falcon’s Alexis Haycraft and Carly Melkus who have also both committed to play at CNU this fall.
“Alexis and Carly are two of my closest friends, so I’m really looking forward to making more great memories with them on and off the field over the next four years,” said Warner who plays club soccer for Loudoun 95G Red.
As spring tryouts have just wrapped up around Loudoun County, Warner reflected on her start in soccer thanking her dad for getting her underway.
“My dad was the one who originally got me interested in soccer when I was four, and I’ve been playing ever since,” Warner said. “I love being a part of a team and having everyone competing for the same goal. My teammates, passion for the game and my desire to be the best athlete I can be are what keep me motivated to continue playing the sport.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!