Inside Jayhawk Nation

August 26, 2009 4:50 PM

Berry Nice: Q and A with freshman soccer phenom

Whitney Berry, a freshman forward/midfielder on the KU soccer team, scored a goal in her first career match Aug. 23 in a 2-0 victory at Drake. It wasn't the first accomplishment for the Goddard High School product. While a Lion, Berry was named to all-league, all-region, and all-6A state teams during each of her four seasons. She also is the only athlete to be named to The Wichita Eagle All Metro First-team every year of her high school career. "Inside Jayhawk Nation" caught up with the talented futbol player to find out about scoring a goal in her first game, scary movies, and her favorite athletes.

Inside Jayhawk Nation: What was playing in your first Division I soccer game like? Especially scoring a goal in a Jayhawk victory.

Whitney Beery: "It was really exciting to say the least. I just tried to have as much fun as possible. If I didn't have fun I probably would have played a lot worse."

IJN: What has been the biggest adjustment from high school to college soccer?

WB: "The speed of play. I think I adjusted pretty well. It's just such a drastic change."

IJN: What did all those individual awards feel like? By the time you were a senior was it like, 'Oh, wow, another award.'?"

WB: "No. All of them were exciting. I didn't really expect them to come. I was just as excited each time."

IJN: Why did you choose KU?

WB: "The great facility. I came on some visits and I really liked everything about KU and the team."

IJN: Who is your favorite athlete?

WB: "Since I was little I would have to say (former UNC and USA soccer star) Mia Hamm. She was all over the place. Now I would have to say (Brazilian soccer star) Cristiano Ronaldo. He's really fast and I like to try to play like that."

IJN: Did you get a lot of support from family members as far as continuing your soccer dream?
WB: "My Mom. She's just taken me anywhere and everywhere my whole life and I am thankful for that."

IJN: At what point did you know you were good enough for Division I?

WB: "My club coach kept coaching me into that and telling me that I was good enough. I just needed to keep working at it. I talked with (KU head coach) Mark (Francis) and he agreed."

IJN: What do you do to kill time while in Lawrence?

WB: "I love to watch movies. Anything scary."

IJN: Has college soccer been what you were expecting, or completely different?

WB: "It's exactly what I expected."

Beery and her teammates will be in action again Aug. 28 against Pepperdine at Knoxville, Tenn., as part of the Lady Vol Classic. To follow the team online, go to

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