Talent, depth has new coach excited about leading BA girls soccer
Kassie Embrey hopes to match 5A success at state's highest level
There was measurable anxiety in Kassie Embrey’s voice as she talked about Broken Arrow’s upcoming girls soccer tryouts.
“The numbers are way bigger than I’ve ever had, but I’m excited,” said the new head coach. “I’ve never heard of tryouts having over 100 people. Never.”
Once she learned tryouts were split sessions with freshmen and sophomores in one group and juniors and seniors in another the tension eased. Her enthusiasm for being a part of Broken Arrow Tiger girls soccer remained at elevated, however.
Embrey’s anticipation for the future what her new team can accomplish is immense, even before she has selected a roster for any of the three – Varsity, JV Black and JV Gold – Broken Arrow High School teams.
“I am excited for a deep bench,” Embrey said just three weeks after being handed the reins of one of the top girls soccer programs in the state and a week before tryouts. “All the good players. Then there are more good players. And you could even go down to JV and there’s more good players.”
And, yes, Embrey knows good players. As well as playing for two-time Big 12 Champions Oklahoma State, she was an assistant coach on Bishop Kelley’s 2017 Class 5A State Championship team and head coach of Tulsa Washington’s back-to-back state title squads.
“I had felt the feeling of winning state as an assistant,” Embrey said. “Winning as a head coach was way better. Then winning again as a head coach was even better.
“A lot of people think if you win one you’re lucky, and if you win two then maybe there was something behind it. I got a few congratulations when we won one. I got a lot more congratulations when we won two.”
One of Embrey’s 2018 congratulations came from the Tulsa World as she was named the All-World Girls Soccer Coach of the Year. She followed that up with receiving the award again this year.
With a step up in class comes a step up in competition. All four of Tulsa Washington’s 2019 losses came to Class 6A schools. The Hornets went 13-4 in this past spring, but just 1-4 against 6A teams.
“I’m excited to see if I can get one at 6A,” Embrey said. “I’m like, ‘that would be really cool if we could do it against all these powerhouses.’”
Returning two top scorers, a two-year starting All-American goalie and a more experienced defense, Embrey could be standing in the midst of Class 6A’s strongest powerhouse of 2020.
Embrey’s familiarity with the players she will be coaching is “because they were friends with my Booker T girls.”
As a TSC (Tulsa Soccer Club) coach, Embrey is well acquainted with Tiger assistant coaches Randy Clingerman and Brit Nigh and former girls head coach Dave Cosby. However, she has not coached any of the Broken Arrow girls in club soccer.
“I’ve heard names, but never personally coached any of them,” Embrey said.
In just a few days the tryout evaluation will be complete. The names of which Embrey has just “heard” will become names on rosters, who at summer’s end, will become faces, personalities and players that the new coach will try to guide to her third straight state title and first in Oklahoma’s “powerhouse” class. If that happens, she will end her first year in Broken Arrow the same way it started – excited.