Kendal Anderson Feature: Reaching for Success
Spartan redshirt senior midfielder
By Sidney Binger, MSU Athletic Communications Student Assistant
As we get older and plan for our future, some are split between following in their parents footsteps or taking their own path. For redshirt senior midfielder Kendal Anderson, she couldn’t help but do both.
Throughout her childhood, Anderson got into a couple of sports most wouldn’t consider common for girls. She really loved playing ice hockey, but got into field hockey pretty early too with some push from her mother.
“I started playing in eighth grade. I never wanted to play (field hockey) because my mom played in college, but I didn’t have sport during that season so I said I might as well just keep playing it,” Anderson said.
She came to a point in her career where she had to make a decision on which one was going to take her further.
“I played ice hockey in high school and I wasn’t really getting collegiate offers for ice hockey, but I was getting more looks for field hockey so I thought I might as well just keep sticking with it. I kept being persistent more with coaches and going to camps and stuff and ended up here.”
For Anderson, Michigan State was her best fit and really stood out to her. She had multiple offers from other schools, but ultimately chose to wear the Green and White.
“I really loved the food in the cafeteria, that was my favorite part. I also loved how everything is so close on campus. Also the education program being number one in the country helped to tie it all together,” Anderson said.
Michigan State wasn’t the first school Anderson looked at attending. Following the lead of both her parents, she originally was interested in the University of Michigan.
“Unfortunately I was looking at Michigan. My dad played football at Michigan and my mom played field hockey at Michigan so I was interested in going there.”
Despite the family ties to Ann Arbor, Anderson found her own home in East Lansing.
“It didn’t really work out there, so I decided to keep looking. Then I visited Michigan State’s campus and loved it. They had a really good education program which I wanted to go into and it just ended up working out.”
When you have a household divided, it can get a little crazy, but Anderson explains that her family has found a way to please everyone.
“My dad won’t go to football games just because he played football (at Michigan), but other than that they’ll always wear Michigan State gear but it has to be field hockey and normally it has to be black. My aunt and uncle actually went to Michigan State, so that kind of helped out a little bit, but sometimes it’s awkward. For the most part they are really good and support me,” Anderson said.
Anderson has accomplished and helped her team reach new levels of success in her four years at State and has also received many personal honors, including being named to the 2016 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-West Second Team as well as a 2016 Second Team All-Big Ten selection.
With her final season coming to an end, she admits leaving Spartan Nation will hit hard, but it will feel even sweeter to have a successful senior season.
“It’s obviously sad because it’s my last year I will get to play field hockey. Out of all the years I’ve played, this feels like the best year we’ve had, so that’s a really big positive for me.”
Reflecting on her time here, Anderson’s achievements will stick with her, but one moment stands out above all.
“Obviously my first goal. It was at Kent State and I’m from Cleveland so a lot of people I knew were there and my parents were there. I would say that was pretty big, my first goal,” Anderson said.
Before finishing out her time here, Anderson hopes to continue representing Michigan State as best as she can and bring home a Big Ten Championship.
“I hope I can help us to get a Big Ten championship. It’s probably going to be the tournament at this point. A Big Ten Tournament Championship, and then make a run in the NCAA and ultimately NCAA champs and that’s where I hope to get us.”