Katie Dry is clearly optimistic coming into her junior season with the Wake Forest University women’s soccer team. On Thursday afternoon, however, she was equally excited to be back at Douglas High School in her role as instructor during the inaugural Douglas Tigers Soccer Camp.
“Being at Wake Forest, it’s cool to see the love and passion for soccer, and that’s something I’d like to bring back here,” said Dry, a 2012 Douglas graduate. “I want these girls to know there are possibilities out there and, even coming from here (a small town), they can achieve their goals and dreams.”
Dry, 20, is working on some goals of her own as an outside midfielder/forward.
Among other things, Wake Forest is preparing for a highly challenging schedule that includes matches against eight top-25 teams from last year, including a Sept. 12 date at defending national champion UCLA and Sept. 15 at Long Beach State. The Demon Deacons are also scheduled to face three top-five teams, No. 3 Virginia, No. 4 Virginia Tech and No. 5 North Carolina — all ACC foes. Wake Forest compiled a 12-7-2 record during a 2013 season that ended with its 2-0 loss to then No. 1 ranked Virginia in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
“I’d say the ACC is one of the two best, if not the best, conferences in the country,” Dry said. “We’re consistently in the top 25, but so are the other teams we’re competing against.
“The performance level, physicality, and expectations are so demanding,” she added. “You always need to be prepared to play your best game.”
Dry helped Douglas compile an 85-9-6 record, highlighted by back-to-back 4A state championships in 2009 and 2010, during four varsity soccer seasons under coach Lorraine Fitzhugh. During those four seasons, she had 51 goals and 35 assists, was honored in 2009 as Sierra League Defender of the Year and in 2011 as the league’s Midfielder of the Year.
The atmosphere is much different than in high school. Then again, that’s exactly what Dry was looking for after finishing as a three-sport athlete at Douglas (soccer, basketball, track and field).
“I feel this is where I want to be,” Dry said. “And I don’t want to leave until I make an impact. That’s my goal.”
Dry has seen playing time the past two seasons for the Demon Deacons, appearing in 20 games with three starts as a freshman and 11 games with one start last season after coming back from a heart procedure that sidelined her in the preseason. “It was a condition I’ve always lived with, it just changed all of a sudden so I had to get it taken care of,” she said of the heart procedure.
In an attempt to take her game to a higher level, Dry played in Sacramento this summer for the Women’s Premier Soccer League California Storm. She scored four goals to go with two assists for a team that won its Pacific-North Division.
“There were a lot of ex-college players and some current college players,” she said of the Storm. “I started every game and played a ton. I played primarily on top; that taught me a lot and challenged me to do some different things with my game.
“That experience, I feel, is crucial. You’ve got to continue to train at a high level in order to play at a high level in the fall.”
Note: Douglas Tigers Soccer Camp Director Tim Dry said 40 participants were on hand for the youth sessions (5-12 year olds) and 32 for the middle and high school sessions. “I couldn’t be happier,” said Dry, an assistant on the Douglas High girls coaching staff. “I think this is going to be a great fundraiser for our program.”