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Women’s Soccer: Devon Kerr remains the star in her senior season

Ohio State senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr (1) prepares throw the ball downfield in the first half of the game against Florida Gulf Coast University on Sept. 7. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

With only four games left for the Ohio State women’s soccer team’s 2018 season, senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr has been the most consistent piece of the team in her final campaign as a Buckeye.

The goalkeeper has had seven shutouts, giving her 18 for her collegiate career — the third most in Ohio State history.

Kerr holds an .820 save percentage in 2018. Game by game, her consistency is what makes her shine in her last year at Ohio State.

On the season, Kerr has allowed more than one goal only three times: in the first two games against then-No. 3 North Carolina and then-No. 9 Duke, and then once more against Penn State, which currently sits atop the Big Ten. Kerr’s success has been the driving force for an Ohio State that sits at 7-5-3 (4-2-3 Big Ten), for Ohio State has only won when Kerr has blanked the opponent.

Kerr said looking back on all her achievements throughout the years remains a great feeling for her, and getting the opportunity to play the starting goalkeeper position behind this caliber of a team proved more than she could ask for.

“I love that we’ve had such success as a team with not allowing goals against,” Kerr said. “Personally it’s a great accomplishment for me, but I couldn’t do it without the work of my teammates as a whole, and I think all of their efforts go into why we’re so successful with not allowing any goals.”

Traveling all the way from Ontario, Canada, Kerr debuted in 2015 against Texas, making six saves in a scoreless draw. In her first collegiate start, Kerr made 10 saves and allowed only one goal in a double-overtime draw to Illinois.

Kerr earned a Big Ten All-Freshman Team honor that year after playing in 14 games and starting five that season.

In 2016, she entered her sophomore season making five saves in a victory against Michigan, managing a total of 26 saves overall for the year.

Although she had much success in her time as an underclassman, it didn’t stop there.

In her junior season, Kerr received a Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor on the way to earning second-team All Big Ten. She started every game in the 2017 season and currently remains one of Ohio State’s strongest players both on and off the field, but she said she won’t take credit as being the only leader on the team.  

“We have leadership coming from every line on the field,” Kerr said. “I think that the fact that it’s not just one leader on the field and there’s multiple leaders is what helps with our team’s success so much.”

Sophomore forward Marissa Birzon said Kerr stands as an incredible role model for the team as a whole and she inspires the younger goalkeepers to take her position when she leaves next year.

“She’s been a huge voice in the back line organizing everybody and making sure everyone’s playing together,” Birzon said. “Honestly, her saves have been tremendous in games.”

The Buckeye senior said her piece of advice to the younger players on the team would be to try and make the atmosphere as much of a family and learning environment as possible, and to try to focus on making the spaces safe and productive.

With only two games ahead of the Big Ten tournament and a potential NCAA tournament bid left in Kerr’s illustrious career, she said she will remember this team as being one of the closest groups of girls that she had in her tenure as a Buckeye.

“We bring a sense of competition every day to practice that I think it’s just super healthy for us and great day in and day out to have that competitiveness at practice and during games,” Kerr said. “I’m definitely going to miss that, coming back every day to the same group of crazy girls will be a bit of a change for me, but I wouldn’t have wanted to spend this year with any other group of girls.”

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