New Kid on the Block
Nov. 3, 2011
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State soccer starting goalie Katie DeVault is preparing for her first collegiate postseason match. First in her family to attend a four year institution, the freshman hasn't even finished her inaugural season as a Bulldog and she is already in the record books.
"My dad didn't go to college and my mom went to community college for a little bit," said DeVault. "My brother is in the navy, so he just kind of bypassed college."
In her first season with the Fresno State women's soccer team, DeVault earned two WAC Defensive Player of the Week awards. She has been ranked as high as 14th in the nation in saves and is also ranked nationally in save percentage and goals against average.
"The first time I got the WAC [award] I was in shock," started DeVault, "because I'm only here to be a student and then play soccer. I'm doing it for my team. They work hard for me and I work hard from them."
Her seven shutouts to date put her fifth all-time in career shutouts.
Born in the City of Orange in Orange County, DeVault tried everything from tee ball to cheerleading before deciding soccer was her favorite sport. She stayed primarily on the pitch until her freshman year of high school.
"My middle school PE teacher told me I should do cross country because I am a soccer player," DeVault said. "At first it made no sense to me because I'm a goalkeeper and not the one out there running everywhere. But I did it my freshman year and I actually lettered in it because I'm a really competitive person and just wanted to win. I also did track that year, but after my freshman year, I just stuck to soccer."
Her attention was well spent as Canyon High School would win the Century League Championship for three straight years.
"And then my senior year we got second, tough huh," added DeVault with a smile.
A standout goalkeeper, DeVault was two-time All-Century League. But she worked as hard in school as she did on the pitch. She finished with a 3.8 GPA and was involved with the Comanche's Care group, an organization for varsity athletes at Canyon wanting to do community service.
"We planted trees, painted fences around our campus and every once in a while we went to a YMCA and played sports with the kids," she said.
Recruited by Fresno State and other schools closer to home like UC Irvine, DeVault was faced with a lot of decisions in choosing where she would spend the next four years.
"My mom was kind of like my agent," laughed DeVault. "I credit everything to her. She spent so much time emailing, I think, almost every coach in the nation to have them come see me play."
Bulldog Head Coach Brian Zwaschka invited DeVault to a spring camp during her junior year.
"I came to camp and the coaches were great," said DeVault. "After that, we talked on the phone a couple times and that was that."
But DeVault had big shoes to fill in goal. The Bulldogs were graduating Kaitlyn Revel, a four-year starter, three-time All-Western Athletic Conference, two-time WAC All-Tournament goalkeeper, who currently holds the program record of 31 career shutouts.
In preparation for the pace of college sports, DeVault played with the Beach Football Club, a premier organization based out of Long Beach.
"It was pretty intense," started DeVault adding, "especially since I was playing a year up. The other teams were amazing. You're playing against some of the best soccer players in the country going to No. 1 and No. 2 schools. It was a lot of fun. I really liked it."
Her hard work paid off. DeVault has started every single match for the 'Dogs this season except one. She has already earned seven shutouts and helped the team to two more.
"It starts at the top with our forwards," said DeVault of the shutouts. "They're working so hard just to get a touch on the ball. And then with our midfield, when they are able to touch the ball and play in this little five foot box and just play around an entire team, it's amazing to watch. And the defensive line saves me all the time, so the least I can do is try my hardest to make a save or do what I can to make their life easier because they are making my job look easy."
A sports management major, DeVault wants to work in sports information at the collegiate or professional level.
She and the Bulldogs earned a first round bye in the 2011 WAC Tournament after posting a 10-4-5 record (4-1-2 in WAC) during the regular season. They will face New Mexico State in the semifinal match Nov. 4 at 2:30 p.m. on the new Soccer and Lacrosse Field.
"We Are Your Team!" The 2011 Western Athletic Conference Soccer Tournament is upon us and the Bulldogs are hosting. The new Fresno State Soccer and Lacrosse Field is home to the 16th annual WAC Tournament Nov. 3-4, & 6. Be there to witness the Bulldogs defend their 2010 WAC title at home. Tournament information and more is available on gobulldogs.com. You can stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook (fresnostateathletics) and Twitter (@FSAthletics).
Fun Facts on Katie DeVault
Have you ever travelled outside the country?
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
How many different color socks are in your drawer right now?
Who on the team do you hang out with the most?
Cats or dogs
Favorite Starbucks drink
Are you a true SoCal girl?
Describe the ultimate SoCal girl