In her third year of college, Kirsten Evans is in her first as a Spartan.
Because of an injury after just six games into her freshman year, she was sidelined the remainder of the season. After being redshirted in 2012, the Farmington Hills, Mich., native left Nashville and transferred to MSU at the winter break, joining the Spartan women’s soccer team this spring.
“I just felt like it would be a better fit for me, it’s closer to home (and) I know a lot of the girls on the team here,” Evans said. “These are my first Big Ten games, first time playing Big Ten college soccer, because I got hurt, obviously, and it’s been an awesome time. I’ve grown a lot as a player because of it, physically and mentally.”
Before getting injured at Vanderbilt, Evans played 226 minutes and was credited with one assist.
In her first season in East Lansing, Evans has brought her strong work ethic to a young Spartan team. She has already contributed to the Spartan offense with a crucial goal against then-No. 21 San Diego State. In the final minute of the first half, Evans found the back of the net to tie the game, 1-1. MSU eventually tied the Aztecs after two overtimes, 1-1, thanks to Evans’ goal.
“She’s been a great addition to our midfield, given us some depth in an area we thought we might need some in, especially losing (Jessica) White to a season-ending injury,” MSU head coach Tom Saxton said. “She’s been steady and she’s got a great work rate. There’s nobody that runs harder in a game, and she continues to improve on her touches on the ball, and we’re pleased to have her.”
Evans isn’t the only talented athlete in her family. Her older sister, Lindsey, was an All-American at Embry Riddle Aeronautical, an NAIA school in Florida. Lindsey Evans also played two years in Sweden.
Kirsten Evans said she owes her sister for wanting to play competitive soccer and said Lindsey set the bar for her. She also has two other sisters, one younger who also is playing competitive soccer.
“We grew up playing together, and she taught me a lot, and it was great learning from her,” Kirsten Evans said. “(I’m) obviously a proud little sister and, in a way, I was in her shadow, wanting to do everything she did, so obviously when she went and played college soccer, I was like, alright, I gotta go do that too. In a way it gives me a (goal) to strive for.”
Kirsten Evans said it was like coming home when she transferred to MSU from Vanderbilt because of so many familiar faces on the squad.
Prior to college, Kirsten Evans spent several years playing for the Michigan Hawks, a top club team in the nation, and played alongside some current Spartans, including sophomore defender Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz, junior forwards Lisa Vogel and Paige Wester and sophomore goaltender Gabrielle Gauruder.
She said being able to come back to MSU was like being able to reunite with her sisters again and pick up right where they left off.
Fiebernitz, who also is Kirsten Evans’ roommate, said Evans has been a warrior in the midfield and brings a strength to free kicks and corners.
“It was great having her come back to Michigan and coming back to Michigan State,” Fiebernitz said. “It was just a perfect fit, I think, for her and the team, (and) it’s definitely nice having another familiar face on the roster.”