Kennedy “Kenna” White is a star for the Bowling Green State University women’s soccer team. In her first collegiate season back in 2019, she was named to the All-MAC Second Team and the MAC’s All-Freshman Team. But, like other athletes across the NCAA, Kenna had to adjust to a very unusual schedule across 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was a long sophomore year for me at BGSU as Covid limited our ability to play games,” White told BGN. “Going without an actual game for sixteen months was excruciating and then we only played nine games.”
Despite the circumstances, she took full advantage of her opportunities, finishing with four goals and one assist, earning USC All-Midwest Region Third Team honors. Now, she’s back with Detroit City FC of United Women’s Soccer to continue to sharpen her skills this summer.
Noting the high-level competition, change of scenery, and getting to play a lot of matches, Kenna said, “The practices are fantastic but being able to play in so many competitive matches has really been great for me and my teammates. I am focusing on continuing to develop my technical skills and knowledge of the game and playing so many games will really help. Our league has so many great teams and players it definitely will make an impact on my game.”
That hard work is paying off as she’s off to a great start this season with DCFC, named to the UWS Team of the Week for Week 4. “I think playing in such a great environment and being surrounded by so many awesome players has allowed me to find success early,” she said about her hot start to the 2021 UWS season. “I can’t say enough about my teammates and how we support each other every day.”
With a boost from White, Detroit City are in third place in the Midwest North Conference with a 5-4-0 record and an impressive +17 goal differential. “This club is something many people don’t get to experience and I think the culture is what makes us stand out,” White said about the club’s successful start. “If you choose the right people, success will come, and I think Sam Piraine continues to choose the right people. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our fans and how much they mean to the team. It’s like having a 12th player and they are the best in the country!”
White will look to carry her success for Detroit City into next season for Bowling Green. She has helped BGSU get to the NCAA Tournament in her two seasons with the team, but the Falcons have fallen short in the first round in both 2019 and 2021. Kenna is optimistic that the team can take the next step in the upcoming season. “I think our team will be very special and continue to do great things next summer,” she said. “We have a ton of returning players and we are ready to push each other and make another great run. Continuing to create a great culture and competitive environment will help us with pushing further in the tournament.”
“Plus we have proven we belong and though we lost to Ole Miss (a loss on PKs in the 2021 NCAA Tournament) we could have easily won that game. It was another big step for our club. We are not just happy to make the tournament. We expect to win.”
While Bowling Green isn’t too far from the Michigan-Ohio border, Kenna appreciates the opportunity to play in her home state, especially with a club like Detroit City FC. The Canton, Michigan native explained, “Playing so close to home is such a great experience and it allows me to have many of my friends and family come to my matches. When Sam Piraine explained Detroit City’s culture and potential I knew it was the right fit for me.”
“We are treated so great by the staff here at DCFC and I have been part of the DCFC family my entire soccer career having started with the club at U7. It was honestly a no brainer for me!”
Another no-brainer for the local star is Detroit-style pizza as she said, “I am definitely a fan of Detroit-style pizza. I love deep dish pizza with a yummy crust. Who doesn’t!”
Next up on the menu for White and Detroit City FC will be their season finale vs. Lansing United at Keyworth Stadium. Tickets are available or watch the match live here with kickoff set for 7:30 PM ET.