Sophomore energizes Cougars, protects net
Soft-spoken sophomore Cami Koski doesn’t look very intimidating off the field.
But on it, she is one of the fiercest competitors to don Cougar red.
“I love the adrenaline rush when I’m about to step onto the field to play,” Koski said. “I love going out there and making a difference.”
She does her best to transfer some of that energy to the team before each game as the squad gathers around Koski, who leads them with the pregame pump-up speech. Koski said that what she says in the middle of the huddle varies from week to week.
“Everybody puts in their two cents,” Koski said. “I try to get everybody as pumped up to get the win as I can. Just reminding them what we play for and getting them riled up.”
Koski redshirted her freshman year, which gave her time to develop her skills. Head coach Susan Bush said that the extra year allowed her to become one of the more elite goalkeepers in the conference.
“She was really raw when we recruited her out of high school,” Bush said. “Redshirting her freshman year was a blessing. She achieved all kinds of accolades last year and she’s doing well this year.”
Last year, Koski started 19 of the Cougars’ 20 games, allowing 13 goals and posting nine shutouts. Her accomplishments earned her All-Conference USA second team and C-USA All-Freshman team honors.
Koski owns the Cougars’ single season record for goals against average (0.63) and wins (11).
This season, the Cougars currently sit at 11th in the conference standings with an overall record of 4-10-0. But Bush said that the team record is not indicative of Koski’s individual performance.
“She’s a leader,” Bush said. “She’s a hard worker and she’s as fit as some of our field players which is really difficult to accomplish as a goalkeeper.”
Despite their record, Koski said that nothing can take away from the camaraderie she has with her teammates.
“This is my family away from home,” Koski said. “It’s comfortable.”
Originally from Missouri City, Koski played club soccer for the Houston Express while attending Elkins High School. She said her decision to attend UH was influenced by a number of factors including her family.
“That was a big part of it,” Koski said. “I’m very close to my family and so I wanted to stay close to home. When I came to visit I liked the atmosphere and saw the team chemistry.”
Koski majors in health with a minor in psychology.
She would like to pursue a career in sports medicine. But for the time being, Koski said she just enjoys playing for UH.