Last Updated: Tue Oct 17, 2023 - 8:52AM
During her time at Greensburg Salem High School, Kylie Smith made an impact with athletics, academics, and in the community. A multi-sport athlete who was also recognized for her success in the classroom, Smith continued her soccer career at nearby University of Pitt-Greensburg. She was already a component of a championship run last year, and she’s making bigger contributions in 2023 as a sophomore. Smith is under the magnifying glass in the latest installment of the Westmoreland Alum Q&A.
Smith was a soccer standout and four-year contributor on the pitch during her time with the Golden Lions. Beginning with her freshman campaign in 2018, Smith helped the Golden Lions achieve a mark of 6-5-1 in section play, qualifying for the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs. The Golden Lions concluded the campaign with an overall record of 6-11-1.
The next year, GS went 6-9-0 overall, including 6-6-0 in section play, but failed to reach the WPIAL postseason.
In 2020, the Golden Lions struggled mightily during the COVID-abbreviated season. That year, Greensburg Salem went 0-10-1 overall. Despite the disappointing record, Smith was honored for her play individually, as she garnered Second-Team All-Section accolades.
As a senior in 2021, Smith helped guide the Golden Lions to a turnaround, as they compiled a section mark of 5-9-0, and an overall record of 5-12-0. Once again, Smith was recognized as a Second-Team All-Section performer.
A two-time captain for the team, Smith paced Greensburg Salem in goals in each of her four seasons.
In addition to her play on the pitch, Smith was also a four-year letterwinner in basketball, and garnered letters in lacrosse and track and field. Coupled with her excellence as a student and her impact in the community, Smith was a nominee for the WPIAL James Collins Scholar-Athlete Award as a senior.
Following her graduation, she opted to play soccer at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. She joined the Bobcats for the 2022 season, listed as a forward/midfielder. In her first season with UPG, Smith played in eight matches, including one start, registering six shots. The Bobcats went 7-0-0 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC). In the conference tournament, Pitt-Greensburg ousted Penn State Altoona in the semifinals, and edged Penn State Behrend 3-2 in the title game, winning the second AMCC Championship in program history. From there, UPG advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament, but lost to Case Western Reserve in the opening round, finishing the year at 16-4-1.
This year, Smith has appeared in 11 contests, including a pair of starts. During that action, she’s scored three goals, firing 10 shots. Pitt-Greensburg has been strong once again, holding a mark of 9-5-1, including 5-0-1 in AMCC play.
Kylie took time from her schedule to answer questions about her individual and team goals this season, which basketball attributes translate to soccer, and her experience working on a dairy farm.
Q: After not registering a point last year, you have scored three goals already this season. What are the biggest factors in your offensive improvement?
A: I think having played on the team for a season and not being as nervous as I was last year for the season definitely helped me.
Q: What was the biggest adjustment from the high school game to the college level?
A: Playing my position in high school was very different than it is in college. In high school, I kind of had to play everywhere, so when I got to college, I almost had to relearn my position.
Q: The Bobcats captured the conference championship last year. What were the best attributes of the team?
A: We all got along very well and pushed each other all throughout the season. Getting along and working together definitely helped us win the championship.
Q: What collective and individual goals have you established this season?
A: Our biggest goal is to win our conference and make the NCAA tournament. We also hope to win some games in the NCAA tournament this year. As for my individual goals, I wanted to earn more playing time and score more goals.
Q: What are your favorite qualities of head coach Chuck Wigle?
A: The way coach pushes us during practice, because he knows we are capable of being better and wants to bring that out of us.
Q: The roster is composed of numerous players from the WPIAL. Which current teammates did you know prior to UPG?
A: Prior to UPG, I knew Hannah Gesinski (of Mount Pleasant Area) from playing basketball with and against her, but she was the only person I knew.
Q: What led to your decision to attend Pitt-Greensburg?
A: I wanted to go to a smaller, local school and still be able to play soccer, and UPG offered me all of these things.
Q: What is your major, and ideal future profession?
A: I am majoring in biology, and I plan to become a physician’s assistant.
Q: What has been your most challenging college course?
A: So far, my most challenging college course has been general chemistry 2.
Q: You played both soccer and basketball in high school. What attributes from basketball benefit you as a soccer player?
A: Because I am short, I had to focus more on my speed and agility in basketball, and this helped me and translated over to soccer.
Q: What was your fondest memory at Greensburg Salem?
A: Getting to play soccer with two of my younger siblings.
Q: Who was the best individual soccer player you faced during your time in high school?
A: I’m not sure - I played against some pretty good girls from Mars my freshman year who went on and continued their careers.
Q: You have spent years working on a dairy farm. What are the best and worst aspects of that?
A: One of the best parts is getting to work with my family; we joke and have fun, but also get the work done. On the other hand, it is very hard work, and working during the winter is not very fun.
Q: If you woke up tomorrow with $1 million, what is the first thing you’d do with the money?
A: I would use it and go to the Bahamas with my friends and family.