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Kym Gause chose the JC route, now CSUB has chosen her

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Kym Gause will join Sierra grads Raeanne Quaresma and Stephanie Teunissen at CSU Bakersfield.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED February 8, 2009 5:03 a.m.
One of the hardest character traits for young people to develop is patience.

The task comes doubly difficult for standout high school athletes looking to move on to the next level.

That’s what makes Kym Gause’s story so remarkable.

Gause, a 2007 Manteca High graduate and star goalkeeper, has spent the past two years at Modesto Junior College, first as a greyshirt in 2007, then as the starting keeper for a 2008 squad that finished its season at the California State Final Four at Cerritos College in Southern California.

Gause had a chance to play alongside her sister, Cassie, in 2008, and because MJC played in a number of high-profile contests, more and more college scouts had the opportunity to see her in goal.

According to MJC head coach Steve Aristotelous, that was the key that unlocked a world of opportunity for Gause.

Saturday night, with the Gause household packed full of family and friends, Kym signed her national letter of intent to join head coach Nicole Van Dyke at CSU Bakersfield on a full-ride athletic scholarship.

“We had some feelers out at the beginning of the year,” Aristotelous said. “UOP, St. Mary’s, and Fresno State had seen her play. Word spread out to Santa Barbara and San Jose State came in with a half-offer.”

With a half-offer on the table from a Division I suitor, Gause played it cool, deciding she’d rather return and play with Cassie for another year.

At that point, Fresno State kicked around a few ideas, but then one call from Bakersfield changed it all.

“December 23rd, I got the call and they came in hard,” Aristotelous said. “They had seen her play in the Final Four. They basically said they would cover it all, and I told them, ‘Don’t tell me, tell her mom or her dad,’ because the stories can change.”

“But Nicole was true to her word, they met and she said tuition’s covered, books are covered, meals – everything.”

Gause will join Sierra High alumni Raeanne Quaresma and Stephanie Teunissen on the Roadrunners roster when she joins Van Dyke and company in the fall.

In Gause, the Runners will receive a natural leader with a passion for the game and a humble intelligence that makes her teammates better on the field.

Gause started playing soccer as a position player with the Manteca Rangers, but didn’t take to it right away.

“Mama told me to go tell the coach that I was a goalie,” Gause said. “I didn’t want to.”

But after a try-out in goal with the Rangers’ head coach, Gause had found her niche.

“My coach knew instantly that I was going to be a goalie,” she said. “He made me love the position. I think if I wasn’t in goal, I wouldn’t be successful in soccer because I’m so uncoordinated. It’s horrible; I can barely walk without tripping.”

Highlighted by a sharp, self-deprecating sense of humor, it’s easy to find the passion in Gause’s words, especially when she talks about her sport and her position.

“I love the dive,” she said. “To be there to save that game-winning goal. It’s just a good feeling. A lot of adrenaline pumps through my body. Going one-on-one with someone and taking them out. I guess I just love diving and getting dirty, it doesn’t bother me.

“It’s perfect; I love it.”

Gause also loves the ability to take control of the game from her goal box.

“You see the whole field and you have to be vocal,” she said. “If you don’t communicate, you’re not going to be successful. Your teammates can’t see the whole field, but I can, so I have to talk to them. If I can’t do that, then I have no spot, I’m not integral.

“That’s the point (of the position) – being vocal.”

Three weeks ago, Aristotelous got a call that he won’t soon forget – Virginia Tech head coach Kelly Cagle had a keeper quit her team and had put Gause on top of the Hokies’ wish-list.

Gause’s father, Cabot, told Kym that the Hokies had expressed interest a few days ago.

“I was sitting on the couch just shocked; I was like, ‘Really? You’re naming all these schools?’” Gause said. “I didn’t know how to take it. I didn’t see that coming. It’s pretty exciting, I mean, who gets Virginia Tech to want them? It’s crazy.”

Despite the flattering East Coast offer, Gause had already found a home at Bakersfield under Van Dyke, who Gause says is the perfect person to help lead her down the path to a successful future both on and off the field.

“Kym can now walk out of college, get a teaching job or whatever she chooses to do, and put that money toward a house instead of toward debt,” Aristotelous said. “And that’s the goal.”

Gause says she wants to become a high school physical education teacher and a coach one day, and it’s clear she’s already well on her way.

Passion and patience.

It’s a powerful combination.
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