Hood’s aggressive, competitive nature on field seems to clash with major

Paul Cordes

Sophomore midfielder Kelsey Hood is described by her teammates as one of the most aggressive and tough leaders on the team, as well as the best artistic dancer.

Hood has been known as a very vocal player and has never been afraid to let a referee know her opinion. This weekend, she accrued two yellow cards to give her the team lead with four, giving her seven for her career at Minnesota.

Coach Mikki Denney Wright said she loves Hood’s competitive spirit and said that she is an important leader on the team.

“She is aggressive, but I really don’t think she has let her competitive spirit get the best of her,” Denney Wright said. “She definitely does have a swagger and competitive spirit that helps her a lot.”

Off the field, however, Hood takes on a different personality – that of an artistic dancer. She focuses mainly on jazz and is looking to make dance her major. Hood will be auditioning in December to get into Minnesota’s dance program.

But, after watching the attitude she brings on the soccer field, many wouldn’t expect Hood’s interest to be in artistic dance. That includes sophomore midfielder Kaitlin Wagner, who said Hood brings a lot of attitude to the game and she never expected her to be someone majoring in dance.

“I didn’t know until this year that she was majoring in dance,” Wagner said. “But she loves it and she’s been doing it since she was little.”

Hood started dancing before she got into soccer, but, when high school rolled around, the demands of doing both were too much and she was forced to make a choice.

“I danced until my sophomore year of high school but had to give it up to play soccer,” Hood said. “But I still love it – why not do something you love in college and make a major out of it?”

Not only is she looking to make a major out of it, but sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Dare said it actually kind of made some sense that Hood was a dancer, especially when she watched her style of play and the way she moves on the field.

“I think her being a dancer kind of shows just by the way she moves on the field,” she said. “You can see she’s really into dancing and she is really good at it.”

Although her dance skills may transfer over to the playing field, Hood talked about the difference in attitude and the different types of pressures the two very different activities bring.

“You have to be very composed and able to take criticism well in dance, because it wouldn’t go well if I just snapped back at my teacher,” she said. “But in soccer, I can let go and my emotions can really show.”

So far this year, those emotions have played an important role for the team, especially when it comes to leadership. She is one of four captains and Denney Wright said Hood has a tall order to fill with the inexperienced lineup she leads, but she has yet to waver this season.

With all that in mind, Denney Wright said she was confident that whatever path Hood goes down, she is sure to be successful.

“She’s a great soccer player, a great dancer, she led her basketball team to four state championships at her high school and she can also sing really, really well,” she said. “She is just a very talented kid and Kelsey is going to be good at whatever she wants to be good at.”