Katie Ulan is a 23-year old freshman forward for the Cosumnes River College women’s soccer team. Despite losing in the playoffs, Ulan still maintains a positive outlook for next season.
“Unfortunately, we ended earlier than we would have liked to, but our season was definitely a memorable one,” Ulan said. “All the injuries we had, including my own, the adversity on our team, the experience of playing college ball. Quite memorable to say the least.” Ulan made herself stand out in September when she led her team with 11 goals scored and 6 assists. She was CRC’s Athlete of the Month in October, and a Big 8 Conference Player of the Week Oct. 23-29.
Ulan credits her father for introducing her to soccer and being her biggest fan.
“He has been my number one fan and supporter through my career,” Ulan said. “He traveled with me to all my tournaments and videotaped all my soccer games so I could review them.”
Ulan also has other hobbies outside of sports, most notably photography.
“I’m extremely fascinated with black and white photography,” Ulan said. “I love still life and nature photography in particular.”
Ulan said she also enjoys traveling and spending time with family, friends and her dog.
Ulan’s educational goals include graduating from CRC with an A.A. in photography and transferring to a four-year university. She is currently unsure if she will play soccer in the future.
“It depends a lot on if I continue to play collegiate soccer,” Ulan said. “I am quite realistic with myself and just am not able to compete at that level to maintain a career.”
Ulan also coaches for FC Elk Grove, a competitive youth soccer league. She teaches the Under 12 and Under 16 age divisions, and the experience has motivated her to coach a collegiate soccer team in the future.
“My experience with coaching has been a tremendous one,” Ulan said. “I love what I do, I love coaching and teaching the game I love with kids that are so eager to learn it.”
Ulan suffered many injuries throughout the season. Among several bumps and bruises, she played through a couple of concussions, a bruised tailbone, back spasms, sprained ankles and a fractured pinky toe.
“How do I overcome them? As far as the injuries, playing through the pain and my scoring, I still struggle. Terribly,” Ulan said.
However, when she is on the field, Ulan has a distinct strategy for both herself and her teammates.
“We use all the strengths of each of our players to be an offensive threat for the other team,” Ulan said. “Soccer is a team sport. It takes everyone in every position to get the job done.”
Women’s soccer head coach Cesar Plasencia said that Ulan’s skills were above average. “She’s a tremendous athlete,” Plasencia said. “She’s got a great shot from distance, excellent foot skills, just an outstanding player.”