February 4, 2015
CALLING IT A CAREER
Ex-Seton Hall standout Kelly Smith retires from international soccer
Kelly Smith, who once starred for the Seton Hall University women, has decided to retire from international soccer.
|Kelly Smith: "Playing for England has been such an important part of my life for so long, but I feel now is the right time for me to retire."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Smith, 36, scored 46 goals in 117 international matches for England in career that lasted nearly two decades.
"Playing for England has been such an important part of my life for so long, but I feel now is the right time for me to retire," Smith was quoted by the BBC. "I'm at a different stage in my life now, I am focusing on coaching and working my way up to get my licences and stay involved in football that way, along with playing for Arsenal.
"Women's football has changed so much since I started playing and I am proud to have been a part of that."
Smith, who played for the Philadelphia Charge (Women's United Soccer Association) and Boston Breakers (Women's Professional Soccer), began to make her reputation in the states at Seton Hall.
The Watford, England native became the program's first All-America, earning the honor in 1999. She was a three-time Big East offensive player of the year, becoming the fifth athlete in any sport in conference history to win the top award three times, at the time.
Smith finished as the runner-up for the 1999 Missouri Athletic Club player of the year award and was third in the voting for the Hermann Trophy, both given to the top collegiate player in the nation.
Smith, who owns all of the school's scoring records, finished her career as the NCAA Division I career leader in points per game (3.41) and goals per game (1.49) as she amassed 76 goals and 174 points in 51 matches. With 27 goals and 62 points in 1999, she finished as the nation's leading scorer for the second consecutive season.
The Pirates retired her uniform number (6) in February, 2000, making her the first non-basketball playing athlete and the third female athlete to receive the University's highest athletic tribute.
"I'm quite sad because it's been a major part of my life for 20 years, but I'm relieved as well because it's taken me two or three months to make this decision," Smith told the BBC. "I feel like it's the right one for me moving forward.
"It was harder to get out of bed and stay motivated the same for the national team. I'd still love to have played in the World Cup, but with my injuries of the past couple of years, they have been long-term ones and have hindered me as a player. I didn't have the heart any more to do it.
"I really love playing for my country and I got so emotional hearing the national anthem. It meant so much for me but I just felt it was best to retire."
Smith plays with and coaches the Arsenal Ladies team.