Making Her Mark: Klungness Breaks Career Goal Record


Barrett Lloyd, Staff Writer

There is no questioning the impact Senior Nicole Klungness has made on the Kelly Walsh girls soccer program. The four-year starter is one of three senior captains, and over the years, she has earned the reputation of being a fierce competitor and leading scorer for the Lady Trojans. On Saturday, April 9th, Klungness made that mark literal, etching her name in the Kelly Walsh record books by breaking the school record for all-time career goals scored.

The historic goal came against Jackson. Klungness broke the record with the final score of the game, leading her team to a 3-0 victory over the Lady Broncs.

“It meant so much! It’s something that I had been working hard for, so reaching a goal like that is so rewarding,” Klungness said, “It took a lot of mental preparation. I had to be confident in my abilities and just play my game.”

The previous record of 58 career goals was held by Kelly Walsh alum Taylor Hockley. Hockley’s record, which stood for seven years, was tied by Klungness the night before in a game against against the Lady Braves of Star Valley. Less than 24 hours later, Klungness’ 59th career goal secured her place as the lone record holder.

Klungness may hold the record all by herself, but she was not alone in her celebration. As soon as the record-breaking goal went in, the all-state striker was swarmed by her teammates, including fellow captain Noelle Vigneri.

“After she scored, it felt like the whole team had broken the record along with her, ” Vigneri said.

The Lady Trojans know they can count on Klungness to put them on the scoreboard.

“Her skill of being able to find the goal is so helpful to the team when it comes to game time. We know we can rely on her to find the net when we pass to her,” Vigneri said about Klungness. But her teammates admire Klungness for much more than just her scoring ability. “She’s showed me how to shake off a bad shot and keep playing. Nicole is a leader by example and I have really appreciated being her teammate.”

Coach Jerry Realing agrees. He is thrilled with the performance of his starting forward.

 “Every year she’s stepped on the pitch, she’s gotten hungrier and hungrier,” Realing said. “But as a coach, I don’t even think that’s her best aspect. She’s a team leader. She epitomizes what hard work is whether it’s at practice, in a game or wherever it is. ”

Already this season, Klungness has scored twelve goals in just six games. At this rate, she is also on-pace to set the individual record for most goals scored in a single season. And with the career goals record broken in the first half of regular season play, she is sure to set the bar high for future Trojans. Klungness’ accomplishments guarantee what her teammates and coaches already knew: her Trojan legacy will be a lasting one.