Shelby soccer player going to KCU

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By Todd Martin

First-year Kentucky Christian University women's soccer coach Al Serhal knew what he was looking for in a player.

"Coaching girls is different, but when you get a girl that's very competitive - a little bit nasty - with a good head on her shoulders, that's what I want."

Well Serhal got his first one Thursday in the SCHS library, when Olivia Sanders signed on to play at KCU.

"Everything I've head and that [SCHS] Coach [Joe Turner] has confirmed for me is she's the type of girl I'm going to enjoy coaching," Serhal said.

Sanders ended up at KCU almost on accident.

"My friend Ty [Barnett] took me on a visit and kind of led me through the experience," she said. "While I was there, I filled out a recruitment form. and it just kind of went from there. I really liked the place a lot."

KCU is located in Grayson, near Ashland, and Sanders said that in the past she went to camps there.

Though Serhal got the player he wanted, Turner said he's going to lose a lot as Sanders graduates.

"I've enjoyed every minute with her," he said. "She's an awesome player, student and person. We're going to miss her leadership, personality and the physical way she plays."

Sanders said she will likely get the chance to step in and play right away as a freshman.

"I think so," she said. "They only have a few players returning, and some of them are injured. I know there will be competition, but hopefully if I work hard I can step in and play and earn a starting spot as a freshman."

Serhal echoed Sanders' thoughts.

"We have eight returning players, but only four or five of them are very strong players," he said. "We're looking forward to (Sanders) being able to contribute right away. She was Shelby's MVP for a reason. We have a history of athletic excellence at Kentucky Christian, and that's what we're trying to build with the women's soccer program.

"Hopefully, by Olivia's sophomore or junior year, we'll be competing for national titles."