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Sept. 22, 2003

By Douglas Adams, South Carolina Sports Information

Now in her sophomore season at the University of South Carolina, Kimmy Criss currently plays central defender and is one of seven Gamecock players to have started and played in all eight matches this season. A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Criss played in 18 matches for USC as a freshman and tallied three assists at outside midfielder. With one year under her belt, Criss moved to the back for Carolina this season.

What is it like playing at Stone Stadium?
It is incredible, especially when the crowd is into it and it is a really tight game.

Why do you wear number seven?
We had an option of what number we wanted and I have always been a low number so I wanted to go with a higher number.

You are from Knoxville, Tennessee so did you grow up a Tennessee Volunteer fan?
Not really, my sisters went there but I like the University of Tennessee but I’m not a huge fan.

Why Carolina?
I love the coaches and when I came on my official visit I fell in love with the campus and the city. It was a great place and it felt a lot like Knoxville growing up since I was so close to the University of Tennessee.

What is it like playing for Coach Smith?
She is absolutely incredible. She is a very respectable person and coach. Coach Smith off the field and away from coaching is also a great friend and I admire her being there for me and the rest of the team.

Best thing about the University of South Carolina?
Playing soccer for the University of South Carolina.

Most learning playing experience last year?
I started playing outside midfielder as a freshman but you have to come in and learn the system as well as adjust to practice. The main thing is adjusting the first year and then making improvements as you go along. The summer is really important because you work on your weaknesses, strengths and improve as much as you can.

What team do you look the most forward to play?
Mainly we like to play orange teams; Clemson, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee. Those games are always challenging and we have to play our best and more to beat them. Those programs are very good and we want to beat top notch schools like them.

Your individual goal for the 2003 season?
Give 110% to every minute I play and even when I’m out of the game cheer on my teammates and stay focused on what is going on out on the field.

Pre-Game Rituals?
I always pray at the beginning of the national anthem.

Last year you came in off the bench to play in 18 matches but this year you have started in all eight games so far. What are your thoughts of coming off the bench to being an every day starter for the team?
Work hard in the summer on your weaknesses and try to improve on your strengths. Try to gel with the team and always play to the best of your abilities.