Kate Del Fava scored 17 goals during her senior season at Illinois State and, that same year, earned Missouri Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors five times.
So, anyone could be forgiven for not predicting that she would excel as an outside back in her rookie season in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Change was always going to be on the cards for the Utah Royals in 2020. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic threw the regular season into disarray, Utah saw widely respected head coach Laura Harvey leave the organization and had seven vastly experienced veterans depart through trades and retirements.
With so many pieces in flux, new coach Craig Harrington went with a bold rebuild, pushing his team into a three-back and electing to use Del Fava — who was originally drafted to play as either a No. 8 or No. 10 — as one of the key players in the Royals’ rebuilt back line.
“There was a scrimmage one day when he said, ‘We’re going to put you back there and see what you can do. It’s up to you to show us if you can play there or not,” Del Fava told The Equalizer.
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