Sports

Spartans Funk recognized for efforts on and off the pitch

Trinity Western Spartans goalkeeper Kristen Funk was named winner of the Canada West student athlete award. - Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics
Trinity Western Spartans goalkeeper Kristen Funk was named winner of the Canada West student athlete award.
— image credit: Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics

Kristen Funk leaves Trinity Western with not only her name all over the record books, but by having left a mark in the community as well.

Funk, a fifth-year goalkeeper for the Spartans women’s soccer team, was named winner of the Canada West student-athlete award.

“Working with players like Kristen has been one of the great joys of coaching and she is so deserving of this recognition,” said coach Graham Roxburgh.

In her final season of eligibility, Funk led the conference with 11 victories — nine of which were by shutout — with a goals against average of 0.33 and a save percentage of .895.

Funk ends her university career atop the all-time Canada West conference wins list with 43 and second on the shutout list with 30.

Last season, she had set the Trinity Western record for career saves.

And while she was once again an all-star at the conference level, earning first team honours, Funk was recognized for her contributions away from the pitch.

“Kristen is not only one of the best players in Canada West, she is also someone who has grown immensely in her leadership and desire to care for others,” Roxburgh said.

For the past three years, Funk has spent time with the Karen community in Langley, helping out at a local homework club for the refugees. She has also helped organize events for them or just hung out with them as they make the transition to a new country.

“It was a shift from doing things for myself to doing things for other people and I really enjoyed it,” she said.

“It was very rewarding, very worthwhile.”

“Many of these young kids’ lives have been touched and enhanced, simply because she has been willing to take the time to be with them,” Roxburgh said.

“For me, this is as important to her career as the legacy she has left on the field.”

The Spartans are in Victoria this week for the CIS national championships, making their fourth appearance in Funk’s five seasons.

The team won the championship in both 2008 and 2009 but finished sixth in 2011. Funk has been the team’s main goaltender for her entire Spartans career.

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