Karley Baggerly, who steps on the field for the last time Saturday, knew she wanted to be a soccer player the first time she took the pitch.
At 12 years old, Baggerly fell in love and found her passion.
“As soon as I started playing soccer, I realized how much I loved this sport,” Baggerly said. “I remember telling myself that I was going to get a full ride to a DI (Division I) school. That was my dream.”
Almost six years later her dreams came true, as she made her way onto the Gonzaga women’s soccer team.
Baggerly finishes her college career third on GU’s all-time goals list.
“I love wearing the Gonzaga jersey,” she said. “The pride I have in wearing that jersey, we might not be the best team, but I love being able to say that I am from GU. Playing in front of the fans and under those lights at Luger Field is the best thing I have ever experienced.”
Not only did Baggerly fulfill her dream of playing for a DI team, she took that opportunity and ran with it, now exiting her senior season as one of the best female soccer players GU has seen.
In her freshman year with the Zags, Baggerly was one of three fellow freshmen to play in all 19 matches, 16 of which she started in. She led the team in points with 15, was tied for the team lead for goals with six and was second on the team with assists with three. She also received West Coast Conference All-Freshman Team accolades.
Baggerly’s success didn’t stop after her first season, or second season for that matter.
In her sophomore year, Baggerly received All-WCC Honorable Mention and in her junior year was named second-team All-WCC, received honorable mention Academic All-WCC and was second in the WCC with eight goals.
Now in her senior year, four years after reaching her dream of making it onto a DI team, she is sitting at third on GU’s all-time scoring list.
“I honestly didn’t expect to score as much as I did,” Baggerly said. “It’s not an individual effort, it’s a team accomplishment for me and that’s really cool.
Despite all of her accomplishments on the field, the thing Baggerly is most proud of is in the classroom.
“Looking back at my four years, the thing that really stood out to me was last year, when I was on the President’s List,” she said. “It was so huge for me because it is really hard to balance school, soccer, family and friends. It takes a lot people to get that balance. So just to be on the President’s List once over my four years is amazing.”
Baggerly’s ability to find the balance among academics, athletics and a social life has shown her growth over the past four years, something she credits to being surrounded by the people on the soccer team.
With the help of her teammates, Baggerly said she has become more open-minded and adaptable to change, which inevitably helps her be successful on the field.
With only one game remanding in the season and a semester and a half left in her senior year, Baggerly can’t help but look forward to the next stage of her life.
“I want to go pro for sure,” she said. “After the season is over, it’s going to be hard not being with these girls and not playing for GU but for me, it is not in my head at all that I am done with soccer. I have such big goals to go pro and whether that is in the U.S. or in Europe, hopefully that can be my next move.”
Kendra Andrews is a senior staff writer. Follow her on Twitter: @kendra_andrews.