Senior goalkeeper Kate Donhauser isn?t afraid to break rules. Growing up in Elliot, Maine, ?a football town? according to Kate, she knew she wanted to do something different. So when she reached the age of five and her father started a youth soccer program, she jumped at the chance to play.
?I was the youngest in my family and the rules of the league said that I must be in at least first-grade to play,? she said.
?I wasn?t old enough, but since my dad ran it, I got to play with the older kids.?
Since then, Kate has been hooked on the game and she has explored a variety of ways to contribute on the field, even playing positions outside the goal.
But coach Terry Gurnett eyed the talent of Donhauser as a goalie.
?I tried to convince Terry that I would score lots of goals if I were a striker, but he kept me at the goal,? she said.
But Kate is more than okay with the decision.
She has commanded a spotlight on a position not well known and not recognizable to many.
?It is a fun position to play if your team isn?t doing so well and a little bit boring when they are good,? Kate said.
?And Terry tells me he wants me to be bored all the time.?
?It is definitely a cool position because a lot of the game is on my shoulders,? she said.
Since her recruitment, this small-town girl from Maine has built a ?House? of worship here ? both on and off the field.
?I?ll always remember the save she made against Cortland in her junior year,? Gurnett said. ?A 35-yard drive high to the back corner ? not only saved but caught by Kate.?
Memories such as Gurnett?s surround Kate?s career and statistics like the ones she carries speak for her amazing talent.
Aside from being captain of the soccer team, she leads the team in keeping opponents? strong offense at bay. In fact, Kate?s talent has kept her as starting goalkeeper all four years, and she has missed a combined total of 67 minutes ? less than a whole game. She also finished out her UR career with .73 goals against average and she racked up a total of 314 saves.
In addition, last season Kate was named to All University Athletic Association?s Second-Team. Statistics like this also keep Kate as UR?s only goalkeeper.
?Aside from being an outstanding player, our all-time leading keeper and a four-year starter, she is just a great girl,? Gurnett said. ?We?ll definitely miss her enthusiasm, leadership, character and plain old work ethic.?
?Kate was a pleasure to coach and to know,? he continued.
?She is able to lead by example and by words.?
And her teammates feel the same.
?I?ll definitely miss having someone around who wanted to work as hard as I did, and who pushed me to do my best,? senior Beth Begy said.
But Begy notes that despite her seriousness on the field, Kate can be ?a big goofball if the timing is right.?
?I?ll never forget the day she brought 50 lobsters from her home state for our team picnic this year,? Begy said.
Like her nickname, Kate likes to share part of her ?House? with her teammates, and it is off-the-field experiences that make her such a good leader and a good friend.
?She is always dependable and loyal,? junior and back-up goalie Jenn Seferiadis said. ?For two years, she has been the epitome of what a captain should be ? leading by example and supporting everyone on and off the field, always upbeat.?
And after graduation, Kate will continue to use her upbeat personality to inspire and support others.
After coming back from her study abroad in Costa Rica, she realized a quintessential aspect of her life.
?I grew up a lot in Costa Rica,? she said. ?For the first time, I was out of the bubble of my hometown, of UR and of all of the luxuries in this First World country.?
?I learned that there are people who are happy with much less than what we have and they are better people for it,? Kate continued. ?It was the best time of my life.?
In fact, that life-changing travel experience will take Kate back to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica next year.
She hopes to do public health research while she is there.
In the long run, Kate plans to give back to the sport that has given her so much joy.
?I hope to keep playing for fun and eventually coach kids,? she said. ?I will definitely miss the people and the camaraderie of this team.?