Kelly keeps going up the levels as university beckons

Cayman Islands keeper Emily Kelly is doing so well at college in the United States that she has been accepted into the University of Richmond in Virginia and will join the Spider’s football team in the fall. The Spiders are in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 and she has a full athletic scholarship with them for four years.

Kelly, 17, went to Kimball Union in New Hampshire in 2009 and has been a stand out keeper since she arrived. Aged only 12 Kelly was the starting keeper on the Cayman Islands national Under-17 team in the Olympic Qualifiers in Antigua in 2007. She was Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2007/08 Cayman Islands Under-15 League. In 2010 she was part of Caymanian history when she was the starting keeper on the Under-17 Cayman Islands team that reached the CONCACAF World Cup Final Round for the first time.

Kelly has also been an invaluable asset on the Wildcat varsity basketball squad and has taken on many leadership roles, most recently as student body vice-president.

“I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to continue my education and soccer career at the University of Richmond, I am ecstatic to begin a new chapter in my life and I know that my time at KUA has prepared me well for it,” said Kelly.

Michael Doherty is Kimball University Director of Athletics and Varsity Girls’ football coach. He said: “Coach Albright and the University of Richmond will be very happy with the addition of Emily Kelly to their soccer programme and to the entire campus community. She is a special young lady and outstanding athlete. I’m confident she will have a very successful career at Richmond. I wish her well.”

Her parents Kirk and Rhonda Kelly are delighted. Rhonda said: “We are thrilled for her, she has put in the work to achieve this and we could not be more proud of her!”

Emily said; “It’s phenomenal. It’s a great opportunity for me. I’m super excited. I’ve always wanted to take my football career far and this is definitely the perfect opportunity for it.

“I hope this can continue into the pros. I’d like to go on beyond college level. I spoke to the Indiana coach when he was here last week and hope to keep in contact with him.”

Her last season at Kimball was one of the most successful in the school’s history. “It was great. We made it to the playoffs for the first time in a couple of years so it was really a great senior season for me.

“I saved a few penalties throughout the season, but obviously football is a team effort and we did play really well. At Richmond I hope to grow as a football player and a person. They have extremely good opportunities there education-wise and academically and for me as an athlete I hope to take advantage of all the opportunities.