MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Mankato West girls’ soccer team is seeking a fourth straight state tournament appearance with the help of senior Kristen Rasmussen.
“Kristen’s been a consistent presence for a long time, she got her nickname Special K when she was in ninth grade, and it stuck,” Crissy Makela, Mankato West’s head coach, said.
Rasmussen is a key cog in the Scarlets offense and is one player that thrives in big situations.
“The pressure, she doesn’t mind the pressure at all, she’s comfortable with that pressure. She’ll put every ounce of energy she has into the game. I think it’s that strength under pressure, it doesn’t bother her at all,” Makela said.
The senior leads by example with an infectious attitude and tenacity on the pitch.
“Intensity, I’ve been here the last couple years. I think people look at me like I’m experienced, I’ve been here. I think when I start to panic, they start to panic. It’s important for me to keep my composure and really step up. When one person is intense, everyone is, and it lights the fire around you,” Kristen Rasmussen, Prep Athlete of the Week, said.
Rasmussen switched positions this season settling into the Scarlets midfield.
“It’s been really great, we didn’t know that’s what was going to happen. We assumed we would want to use her at CF as we had in the past. Putting her at center midfield has done a nice job of helping us maintain possession and set up our attack so that’s been a pleasant surprise,” Makela said.
“As I got older, I figured out I need to be a key piece. I took that role on, started as a forward, then we had problems in the midfield and I volunteered and said I can do it. I’ve started in the midfield the last couple games and it’s gone really well,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen isn’t sure if she’ll be playing soccer or running track at the next level and is focused on returning to state one final time in her high school career.
The senior’s versatility is why Rasmussen is our KEYC News 12 Prep Athlete of the Week.