April Goss ready to kick for Kent State

While the most famous football player that Kent State produced was Hall of Famer Jack Lambert, he may soon be joined in such elite company. Kicker April Goss is building on the momentum of women such as Dr. Jen Welter, who in 2015 served as a member of the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. Hailing from Pennsylvania, the 5-6 kicker is looking to become the first woman in Division I college football to see action in a 2015 regular season game.

Taking into account that it is her senior season, it would certainly be a suitable acknowledgement. Having publicly vowed that Goss, a native of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, shall see game action before the season expires, Kent State coach Paul Haynes has not confirmed in which game she shall appear. Possessing a background in soccer, akin to kickers both male and female, she first graced the gridiron at the high school level.

Originally a walk-on with the Kent State Golden Flash, Goss has never seen any regular season action despite several seasons with the program. A 2014 spring game provided Goss with the closest experience yet, kicking a game-winning extra point.

Although Goss is not the first woman to play for a Division I team, she would love to extend the growing legacy, one that was established by Katie Hnida. Kicking a pair of extra points in a 2003 game for New Mexico, Hnida was the first female in Division I history to do so. Although she has managed kicks in practice of 40 yards, her most accurate distance consists of 10 yards.

Travelling with the Golden Flash last week, a 52-3 loss against the Illinois Fighting Illini, it represented only the third time in four seasons with the program that she accompanied the team. Her journey to the locker room consisted of walking outside the stadium into a nearby recreation center (which was on campus).

Although her smaller size has presented challenges concerning getting her into a game, Goss deserves the opportunity to at least emulate Hnida and kick an extra point. Considering that Kent State’s next opponent in Delaware State, it does represent a winnable game. Coming off a very frustrating two-win season in 2014, the chance to bring Goss into a game would be very good for team morale.

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