The Nevada Wolf Pack soccer team will head into today’s 12:00 pm home game looking for their first conference victory against the Utah State Aggies. The team will have two games to try and secure a victory in Mountain West Conference play. However, for senior center back Katie Prosser, this game marks the final home game of her career and she wants her final performance at Mackay Stadium to be one for the books.

Prosser, who according to first-year head coach Erin Otagaki is the team’s stabilizing force on the defensive end, has been impressed by her ability to motivate her teammates through her play.“T leads by example on the field,” Otagaki said. “She plays with heart and gets her team energized by her tough tackles. She has been a steady force for us this year.”Growing up, the Santa Rosa native took interest in a variety of sports, from basketball to volleyball to soccer. However, soccer was the one that took up the majority of her time.“I had coaches that recruited me to play club soccer and I just wanted to try something a little bit harder,” Prosser said. “So once I played club soccer, I just loved my teams so much that it made me want to keep playing. I just love the team aspect of playing soccer.”Beginning in the fourth grade, she started playing competitive club soccer and has since stuck to a very hectic schedule that requires her to play or practice every single day.

Photo courtesy of Nevada Athletics

“I started playing club soccer in the fourth grade and we would have three or four days of practice,” Prosser said. “Then we would play a lot of tournaments and games during the weekends. I definitely had to sacrifice a lot of my childhood like skipping birthday parties and family trips. I dedicated a lot of my life to soccer.”

One of the things that caught the young soccer player’s eye was the prospect of playing collegiately. Year after year, she would see her friends pursue their careers at various colleges across the nation. As she got older, this became something that she wanted to do.

“I just looked up to older players in club teams when I was in high school,” Prosser said. “Every young soccer player looks up to Mia Hamm and Abby Wombach and professional soccer players but there was no one I was super obsessed with. I just liked seeing older girls that went off to play college soccer and from the outside it looked like so much fun and a really big accomplishment.”

As her opportunities slowly came about and colleges started knocking on her door, Prosser was looking to find a great personal fit that emulated the camaraderie of her travel club teams. During the recruiting period, the one team that stood out to her was the Wolf Pack.

“The first time I heard about Nevada and they were recruiting me, I was like ‘Ooh, Reno?’ but as soon as I came to visit, I fell in love with the campus,” Prosser said. “I remember going to the weight room while the whole team was lifting and when they were done, every single one of them came up to me and introduced themselves and was like ‘Hey it’s nice to meet you. I hope that you come here.’ I think the number one overall thing was the team influenced me to come.”

Photo courtesy of Nevada Athletics

Since stepping foot on campus, Prosser slowly began making an impact on the field. By her sophomore year, she had earned a starting spot in the defensive backfield and has not relinquished that spot. However, reflecting back on her career, it has been the off-field team bonding memories that she will miss the most.

“I have a lot of fun on travel trips even though they can be never-ending sometimes,” Prosser said. “It’s fun traveling with the team and getting to spend every moment together and we just have a lot of funny memories on bus trips. I’m going to miss just playing soccer with them. It’s going to be hard to see them in the spring and everyone out here practicing and I won’t be here. Most people on the team are some of my best friends.”

While the season has presented some difficult times as far as earning victories, the culture of the team has been night and day in terms of how tight-knit this team is. With Prosser being the veteran leader of the team, she hopes that the team’s cohesiveness will translate to on-field success.

“It’s just really fun when we’re out there and we’re doing really well,” Prosser said. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

As she begins to close a huge chapter in her life, Prosser will begin her pursuit of a professional career as a nurse practitioner. She plans to graduate in the spring and is currently applying to nursing school for the fall. However, at the moment, all her focus is on today’s matchup against the Aggies and not letting the emotions of senior day get to her.

“It’s crazy,” Prosser said. “I feel like I’m ready for it but I know I’m not because it’s going to be really sad to have to go say goodbye to soccer but I just hope we do well so we can end on a really good note.”