Senior Spotlight: #10 Kristelle Yewah
Seizing Each Moment
By Ashley Verbeyst, MSU Athletic Communications Student Assistant
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Spartan senior women’s soccer captain Kristelle Yewah didn’t always picture herself in the Green and White, despite attending Okemos High School just a few miles away from campus; she was surrounded by Maize and Blue growing up.
“My dad went to the University of Michigan, so all I saw around my house was maize and blue. I liked the city of Ann Arbor a lot so I didn’t come to East Lansing very much even though I live close to it. I honestly didn’t come to downtown East Lansing until middle school, but as time went on I started to like East Lansing more,” Yewah explained how her love for Michigan State began.
Throughout Yewah’s soccer career, the support of her family has been evident and is a big reason as to why she chose Michigan State.
“(My family) has played a big role. That is honestly one of the reasons why I came to Michigan State,” said Yewah. “In the beginning when you’re immature, you think you want to be as far away from home as possible and slowly my parents started saying, ‘You know we won’t be able to make it to most of your games.’ My senior year of high school, my parents came to all my games in the town of Okemos. I realized how much I love the support and having the feeling of people always watching and cheering me on.”
She soon realized MSU would become her home away from home with the support of her family close by. Although Yewah found her home on the soccer field, she also loves that Michigan State has something to offer for everyone.
“It has meant a lot that there is always togetherness on campus, there is something here for everyone. There is a home here for everybody and that’s what I love about Michigan State.”
Balancing her rigorous academic and soccer schedule, the pre-dentistry major has benefitted from learning how to use her time management skills wisely from a young age.
“I have been doing this since the sixth grade. In middle school I played four sports – volleyball, track, club soccer and basketball,” Yewah said. “When I had down time, instead of taking a nap, which I would love to do, I did my homework because there are no excuses.”
Yewah has always been motivated to work harder. In the spring of her freshman year, she started every game. When she lost her starting spot in the next fall season, Yewah knew not to give up.
“It motivated me to work harder, and I knew I was always right there. I was tired of always being just right there,” Yewah said.
Even though Yewah didn’t start her sophomore year, she appeared in every game off the bench and scored her first goal against the University of Michigan on September 25, 2015, bleeding Green and White.
“I made sure when I got the opportunity to start again I made it count,” Yewah said, speaking of when she sprained her MCL in practice her junior year and having to make a comeback. Yewah came back super fit after playing summer soccer.
“Sitting on the bench having to watch and physically not being able to play was super hard on me. Knowing when I came back I had to pretend I wasn’t even missing, and get right back into the moment.”
Yewah realizes that playing Division 1 Collegiate Soccer is nothing to scoff at, and the 64 games she has appeared in have left a lasting impression on the forward.
“It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me,” Yewah said. “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life and be able to tell my kids about it. I think playing a Division 1 college sport is a special thing. Less than 2 percent of high school athletes go on to play Division 1 sports. To say I am a part of that small percentage is really special to me.”
"Making your moments count,” is a piece of advice Coach Saxton told Yewah.
Seizing each moment is what Kristelle Yewah plans to do as her soccer career starts to come to an end. Yet another milestone is just ahead, applying to dental schools.
“I am going to apply to dental schools in June. I’m really interested in University of North Carolina and University of Michigan,” said Yewah. “Then I’m going to take a year off to build my resume - volunteering and working in dental offices, which I have done already. My ultimate goal is to make it to dental school.”
The relationships and times shared with the women’s soccer program will be remembered by Yewah forever.
“It’s a family I will always have. I hear the older girls when they have reunions and go to weddings with girls they played with. I know some of my teammates are going to be bridesmaids at my wedding. It’s sad; it has been such a fun time here.”
Whether as a dentist, a teammate or friend, Yewah is always putting a smile on everyone’s face, and she looks back with a smile that she chose to be a part of the Spartan Nation.