She'll forever have her name etched in the history book of the Women's Professional Soccer League. Not because of the prettiest stop or the most acrobatic of saves, although she is capable of both.
Kristin Luckenbill will go into the eternal log is having made the first penalty kick save in WPS history. And for that save Luckenbill received the Player of the Week honor several weeks ago.
“Player of the week goes to Luckenbill, who did what veteran U.S. goalkeeper Brianna Scurry could not—saved the second penalty kick of the season,” Goal.com’s Angela Tavares said.
“Even though the Freedom pulled one by her, she came up big when the Breakers needed her most.”
Luckenbill, who has backstopped the Breakers to a 3-2-2 record and second place in the WPS, was selected in the fourth round (25th overall) by the Breakers in the WPS General Draft.
"The day the WUSA ended was one of the worst days of my life and the opportunity to be part of the beginning of a new league is something I wasn't sure I'd have again, so I am ecstatic," said Luckenbill upon being drafted by the Breakers.
"And I am especially excited to be playing for Boston."
The pride of Paoli, Penn. was part of the 2009 U.S. Women’s National Team player pool and trained with the National Team Residency Program in 2004 and 2007.
After attending Dartmouth College, she became the first Ivy League women's soccer player to represent the U.S. at the Olympics when she served as the backup goalkeeper for the gold medal team in 2004. She didn't see any playing time, but is a gold medalist just the same.
Prior to the Olympics, "Lucky" was named WUSA Goalkeeper of the Year and First-Team All-WUSA in 2002, while playing for the Carolina Courage.
She took over Carolina’s starting keeper position from Norwegian legend Bente Nordby in 2001 before playing in all 21 games for the Courage in 2002 and posting a 12-5-4 record, en route to the 2002 WUSA Championship.
The following year, Luckenbill played in 18 matches for the Courage after recovering from an early-season finger injury, and went 7-7-4. That season, she was nominated for "Best Female Soccer Player" by the ESPYs.
She played for the W-League's Vermont Voltage from 2005 to 2007, before heading to Indiana in 2008, where she played for FC Indiana.
In 2006, Luckenbill played for Jitex BK of Sweden’s Damallsvenskan (top division).
While at Dartmouth, she was a three-time All-American and four-time first-team All-Ivy Selection. She started 70 consecutive matches during one stretch, and holds Dartmouth's record for all-time shutouts (31) and goals against average (0.68).
As a sophomore, she was named First-Team All-New England and Ivy League Player of the Year and was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 1997.
In her time away from the team, Luckenbill is an accomplished skier who gave up the sport after being drafted by the Carolina Courage. She actually moved to Colorado after the WUSA folded to coach skiing. Shortly after, she was called up to the WNT Residency Program.
While at Dartmouth, she enjoyed several top 15 finishes at the Eastern College Carnivals, and was a silver medalist in slalom at the 1998 Eastern Junior Olympics.
When not in net, Luckenbill loves to watch the Philadelphia Flyers and Eagles and can always be found curled up with a good book.
Her favorite cities in the world are Vail, Col, Cortina, Italy and her new home away from home, Boston, Mass.
EDITOR NOTE: The story was orininally published having spelled Kristin's first name incorrectly. The correct spelling is Kristin.
Each week, Todd Civin will present a different member of the Boston Breakers soccer team as part of his "Meet The Boston Breakers" series.
Todd Civin is a freelance writer, who covers the Boston Breakers of the WPS for the Bleacher Report. Feel free to comment or write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any story leads.
Photo Credit: Kelley Cox/isiphotos.net.