By Terry Jacoby, FUEL Soccer Contributor
Karlie Paschall has climbed the ladder of success quickly since she first kicked a soccer ball around the time she started walking. And her parents have been with her every step along the way – from holding her hand so she wouldn’t fall down, to driving her to practices to sitting in the stands at Duke.
“I’ve really been blessed with a ton of mentors who have supported me and helped me become a better soccer player and a better person,” said Paschall, who is currently getting plenty of playing time as a freshman for the Blue Devils.
“But two of the most constant believers in me have definitely been my parents (Danny and Sharon Paschall).”
And even though she is now further away from them, she can see even clearer just how important they’ve been to her success.
“I see that now more than ever being here at Duke,” she says, getting a little emotional. “I’m so in awe of how they continue to support me even though I don’t live under their roof anymore.
“They text me or call me every single day to tell me how much they believe in me and how proud they are of me. That positive reinforcement has helped me so much get through the day being at such a challenging university like Duke and playing on a Division I soccer team. They are just amazing.”
Paschall arrived at Duke injured and had to sit out of practice early on in the season. And that was tough.
“Coming in injured, my confidence level was lower than it should have been, and my parents straightened that out really fast and helped me believe in myself,” she said. “They have helped so much in making the transition to college and still believe in me. That gives me so much confidence that they still believe in me.”
Her parents also have watched and guided her along the way as a member of U.S. National Teams. Last year, Paschall trained with the U.S. U-19 National Team.
She also participated in the U-20 National Team training camp in 2014, trained with the U-18 National Team in 2013, and with the U-15 National Team in 2011 and 2012.
“From the time I started playing, they have sacrificed more than I could have ever dreamed of and I am so honored and grateful for all they do,” she said. “I never take their support for me for granted.”
A native of Brentwood, Tenn., Paschall was named the 2016 Gatorade Tennessee Player of the Year and was the MVP of the High School All-American Game in North Carolina in December.
All of the effort and sacrifice has not only been rewarded with such things as a scholarship to Duke and trips all over the world, but with her 2016 induction into the Tennessee Soccer Hall of Fame.
Paschall was a 2017 and 2016 US Youth Soccer National Champion with Tennessee Soccer Club and selected to the 2016, 2014, 2013 and 2012 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Best XI teams. She capped off her youth career by earning the Golden Ball honor while helping Tennessee SC to its second straight National title in 2017.