St. James senior midfielder Kelly Joyner’s team-leading 44 goals helped the Trojans to a second-round playoff appearance. She scored three goals in St. James’ opening round win over Trinity.
Joyner has played club soccer since she was 9, the last four years as a member of the Auburn Thunder.
A starter since the seventh grade, Joyner took her 10th grade season off to play with the Thunder in both the fall and spring.
Joyner is heading to Auburn in the fall, where she plans to study zoology.
How does it feel to win the player of the year?
“I’m really excited. I really wanted to win it at some point. I’ve seen a bunch of great players win it, (former Montgomery Academy stars) Erin (Katz) and Nini (Smith). I’ve always been jealous when they’ve won it. My brother (Blaine) won it for baseball …, so it’s really cool that we both got that … . When I told him, he said ‘Welcome to the club.'”
You had the opportunity to play college soccer for other schools. Why did you decide to go to Auburn?
“I wanted to go to a big school. The smaller schools that recruited me, I just really wasn’t interested going to. I want to do so many other things in college that playing a varsity sport wouldn’t allow you to do. I want to study abroad a lot, and I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was a collegiate athlete. After college I probably wouldn’t be playing soccer, anyway, so I need to find myself in other things than sports, and college is a great place to do that.”
Where would you like to study abroad?
“I just really want to travel, and … I’ll go anywhere to get any type of credits for anything. I just want to study abroad. I’ve always wanted to do that. I’m in the process of learning Portuguese because I want to go to the World Cup in Brazil next summer. I’d love to study abroad there maybe this year or next summer. That’d be perfect.”
Anything funny that happened over the course of your career that stands out?
“Everybody forgot their jersey at some point, and wrong-colored socks happened a lot. One time I was going to practice in Auburn, we got like halfway there and my soccer bag wasn’t in the car, and we had to go back and get it. My dad was so mad at me. It wasn’t funny when it happened, but it’s funny now.”
— Ethan Bernal
@EGB_123 on Twitter