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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Seniors leading season more headline

Kram, Peterson and Butler giving team a winning direction

With a 3-1-1 start in conference play, the women's soccer team is off to a strong start in the Big Ten, and are showing they are ready to compete at the national level.\nAt 6-2-1 (3-1-1) the Hoosiers are currently in fourth place in the Big Ten and ranked No. 23 in the country. Last year, they finished 10th in the conference. \n A reason for this drastic change is the emergence of three seniors, Kelly Kram, Stacey Peterson and Whitney Butler, and the leadership they are providing to a team with 17 underclassmen. \n Kram is one of the team's most noticeable leaders on and off the field. With 11 career goals and 33 career points, Kram has been one of the Hoosiers prominent goal scorers. This year, she was delegated to a more defensive role, and the move has paid off so far. Kram has helped anchor a Hoosiers defense that has permitted only nine goals this season. \n Coach Joe Kelley said Kram "doesn't get the recognition she deserves for being as good as she is." \nKram's biggest addition to the team is the guidance she has provided for so many on the younger players. She has also sacrificed for the good of the team, members said.\n "I prefer offense, but if the team needs me back there defensively that is where I will be," Kram said. \nKram is an exercise science major and has been playing soccer since the age of five. She said she has enjoyed her four years at IU. \n"Playing here at IU has been great. It is extremely important that we do well my last year here, and so far we are off to a great start. This is my last time playing competitively, so a top priority is for myself and the team to play well."\nAfter graduating in May, Kram plans to either go to Chicago or home to St. Louis to work. She does not plan to continue with her soccer career, but she does not rule out of the possibility of still being involved in the sport.\nAs for playing the last few years with Peterson and Butler, Kram said it has been great. \n"They are amazing people to play with. They are the two best and most rounded people to be with. They are great girls," Kram said.\nPeterson, also an exercise science major, is a quiet leader. \n"As a senior, you need to be a leader, show by example, and build up your teammates," Peterson said. \nLike Kram, Peterson has been relegated to a more defensive role for the Hoosiers this year. \n"Wherever (Coach) Kelley needs me, that is where I will be. I want to be able to have the best impact on the team and be involved," Peterson said.\nAfter graduating from IU, Peterson is applying to the cardiac rehabilitation program and plans on staying in Bloomington as a graduate student. \nPeterson said she preaches to her younger teammates to be a respectable team, have discipline and play with sportsmanship. \nPeterson also said playing with Kram and Butler is a blessing.\n"They are very supportive, hard working and fun to be with. I get along great with them," she said.\nKelley said he admires Peterson's work ethic.\n"She is an extremely important player for us. She is a hard worker who improves every day," he said. \nButler transferred to IU from Connecticut last year. She is from Ft. Wayne and said she enjoys being closer to home. \n"My time here has gone great," Butler said. "The attitude is great here. I couldn't have asked for anything more. We're doing great."\nButler is a back who is another integral part of the Hoosier defense. Aside from those skills, Butler is one of the more outspoken and friendliest members of the team, teammates said.\n"Leadership is a role that sets a tone," she said. "It is all about work ethic and attitude. You need to have pride and have to want to excel. You have to provide a good example."\nButler is an English education major. She plans to work next fall for Teach for America. She said that she will miss playing soccer here, but hopes to one day coach younger children, or at the high school level.\n"She is a very good defender," Kelley said. "We are counting on her and expect her experience to help."\nAs for her fellow senior teammates, Butler has enjoyed the experience.\n"It's been great playing with them," Butler said. "It's like playing every day with your closest friends. I couldn't have asked for more."\nKelley spoke about the positive impact these three seniors have had. \n"I think how we're doing this year shows how important leadership and experience is. This program has never had such positive leadership to get us through the trials and tribulations." \nKelley said he will miss these seniors next year, and they won't be easily replaced. \n"The type of competitiveness and the desire to succeed that these girls have won't be easy to lose," he said. "Their leadership is beneficial. It shows in how they're playing, and how well the team is doing"

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