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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Nov. 6, 2008

Southard, Lazenby Take The Long Road To Maryville

By Maggie Corwin '12

rikki kira
Rikki Southard Kira Lazenby

From teammates to roommates, Kira Lazenby and Rikki Southard, both starters for the Northwest soccer team, have travelled far to get to Maryville. The two got their start at Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) and moved on to the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) before transferring to Northwest.

Lazenby and Southard were complete strangers when they sat in on their first team meeting at IWCC three years ago, but quickly became acquainted and together helped their team take second at nationals two years in a row.

After two years and with associate's degrees in hand, the girls started talking to recruiters. UTEP was one of the universities interested in the duo.

"UTEP was looking for multiples," said Lazenby. "They wanted to have girls that had already played together."

Lazenby signed with UTEP first. Southard had been contacted by Northwest's soccer coach Tracy Hoza, but chose to move to El Paso with Lazenby.

The girls stayed at UTEP for a year. Lazenby redshirted the 2007 season and Southard was granted a medical redshirt after sustaining a knee injury. Southard started re-contacting old recruiters and again Northwest and coach Hoza came to the forefront.

"When I talked to coach, Hoza she mentioned the team was also looking for a keeper," said Southard. "I mentioned Kira and we both came to Northwest."

Hoza remembered watching Lazenby and Southard at IWCC and was excited about the new additions to the team.

"Rikki's personality was contagious," said Hoza. "Kira was mature and knew what her goals were."

Both have been standouts for the Bearcats this season. Lazenby has the second-most shutouts in the MIAA and is one of four conference goalkeepers with a goals against average under 1.0.

Southard scored a goal in the Bearcats' best win of the year - a 2-1 upset of fourth-ranked Nebraska-Omaha at home. She's started 13 games and averaged 52 minutes this season.

"Rikki has a great personality," said Lazenby. "She is the most outgoing and likeable person I know."

"Kira, well let's see, she does the dishes," said Southard, laughing. "Everyone likes her, and she's friendly to everyone she meets."

Both girls agree that Northwest was the right team for them.

"Everyone gets along," said Lazenby.

"Practices are fun," added Southard. "Everyone helps each other out."

"Kira is an outstanding goalkeeper," said Hoza. "She has the school record with six shutouts and is very good with her feet. Rikki is a physical player with a tremendous work ethic. Both girls are very energetic, fun and hard working. They are great assets to the team."

Lazenby and Southard will be featured on the home pitch Thursday and Saturday as Northwest wraps up its regular season slate with home games against Central Missouri and Southwest Baptist. Both games are scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468