That saying is a favorite of ETSU women’s soccer head coach Adam Sayers and one that he has passed on to his team and top-goal scorer Ramey Kerns, who leads the nation with 15 goals.
Kerns has a mantle full of awards and records from her lone striker position thus far in the season. The Kings Mountain, N.C. native owns the program single-season record for goals (15) and points (33) to go along with three Atlantic Sun Player of the Week awards in 2012.
But if you talked with Kerns you won’t find a flashy forward, but rather a humble team player who has switched positions three times in her career and is quick to point out her recent accomplishments are the products of not only her efforts but also her teammates.
“I never thought I could accomplish those feats. I’m just here to help the team out wherever possible and I’ve been lucky enough to get those records and it’s just a mark for this team and shows the hard work we put in and effort we give on the field.”
In 2011, Kerns switched positions from forward, where she played as a freshman, to an outside midfielder as Sayers took over the women’s soccer program and brought a new system with him. The changes saw immediate results as the Buccaneers earned a share of the A-Sun Regular-Season title with FGCU and Jacksonville for the first time in program history.
That team set program records for goals and points, while tying the ETSU marks for wins (13) and conference wins (7) as Genna Petersen, the 2011 A-Sun Player of the Year, and Jenna Caudle, the 2011 A-Sun Freshman of the Year, served as the offensive workhorses by combining for 21 goals and six assists.
However, Kerns made her contributions to the team known as two of her three goals were game-winners in conference play.
“With the role we asked her to play last year she didn’t score as many goals, but the ones that she did score were some of the most important ones for us,” Sayers stated of Kern’s contributions in 2011.
Tied at 1-1 with Belmont on the road, Kerns found the back of the net in the 87th minute to give the Bucs the win after trailing 1-0 in the match. In the final match of the regular season vs. Mercer and ETSU needing a win for a share of the A-Sun title, Kerns once again struck late with a goal in the 81st minute to give ETSU the 2-1 win.
With four conference matches remaining in the 2012 season, ETSU sits in sixth place in the A-Sun with nine points and can still capture the program’s second-ever A-Sun title. Kerns, a sophomore on last year’s A-Sun Regular-Season title team, knows winning a conference crown takes more than one player to accomplish.
“I’ve always kind of thought that I’ve been lucky to lead the team in scoring, but I just go out there and play my hardest and work my hardest and so does everyone else on the team. I want to be there for the team and help us win and I think everyone on the team has that same mentality about them.”
With Kerns flourishing in her new role as a striker, Coach Sayers sides with Kerns that her teammates deserve a lot of credit for her goal total, but also concedes that one piece doesn’t work without the other.
“The team is creating these chances for her very well, but the system still needs someone with very sharp quick movement inside the 18-yard box and has the instinctive ability to finish accurately with a first-time shot and she is pretty good at that.”
As long as Ramey continues scoring and ETSU continues to accomplish more on the pitch, Kerns and Sayers don’t care who gets the credit.