Pocket-sized dynamo joins Brock
Kyra Eaton has never let her size — or lack thereof — be a hinderance on the soccer pitch.
The 17-year-old Port Colborne resident was playing varsity soccer for the Lakeshore Catholic Gators in Grade 9 when she stood just 4-foot-9.
“I think speed and playing big even though I’m not big,” Eaton said when asked how she compensates for her small stature. “Using my soccer IQ and determining where the ball is going or where I should be makes up for that and I just use the physicality I have to be my best.”
Eaton has parlayed her talent and determination into a spot on the Brock Badgers women’s soccer team in her freshman year at the school.
“Brock was always my first choice when looking at schools and for my program,” the Lakeshore Catholic graduate said. “It was always academics and I also wanted to play on the soccer team.”
Eaton, who is majoring in concurrent education, now stands 5-foot-1 and admitted it was difficult to know what was going to happen due to the COVID pandemic.
“It was slow for the recruiting process because coaches couldn’t come and see you,” she said. “You had to use old footage and stuff because there was no way to get up-to-date footage. I just talked to coaches, reached out on FaceTime and e-mails back and forth.”
She also did her best to keep in shape.
“I tried to keep my fitness up, that’s for sure, when we were all in lockdown. I would go for 5K runs and do different workouts and my practice in backyard with my sisters and dad.”
Eaton has a big fan in Empire Niagara Soccer Academy technical director Davide Massafra.
“Even though her small stature was not an advantage for her, Kyra decided to focus on developing her soccer IQ and technical skills in order to be successful on the field,” Massafra said. “When Kyra is playing, she is incredibly strong and aggressive. She is very brave and never gives up. Her ability to adapt to the game and create plays impressed me.”
Eaton played minor soccer for the Welland Wizards and then in Niagara-on-the-Lake before joining Empire three years ago.
“Empire helped me tremendously with my game and knowing more about the sport and Davide helped me understand the recruiting process and how to go about moving on to the next level,” she said. “That’s why I went to Empire Niagara, because I knew Davide was really big on getting players to the next level. That was my focus when I switched to Empire, to get to the post-secondary level.”
Eaton has only been at Brock for one week, but is already impressed.
“We practice all the time together. It’s great. The training is amazing and all the coaching staff are phenomenal,” she said.
Eaton is a versatile player who can fill in at a variety of positions.
“Kyra can play in any offensive position, or as an attacking midfielder,” Massafra said. “She is extremely strong in one-on-one battles, or as she runs through the defensive lines. Overall, Kyra improved significantly in her tactical understanding of the game, especially in the defensive phase without the ball.”
Dear reader. If you liked this story or one of the 3,500 other stories found on our website, please consider hitting the Support Us button on the right-hand side of our home page and making a PayPal contribution to our website. Your support would be much appreciated. If you are a business owner, please consider advertising on our site. Our rates are reasonable and we provide plenty of exposure for your business. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.