KSU freshman taking no time to make impact on the soccer field

Matt Lofgren

Stephanie Haugh isn’t your typical freshman.

A high school stand out in soccer, Haugh was good enough to get a spot on the soccer team here at Kent State. Hailing from Richmond Hills, Ontario, Canada. Haugh was a highly sought after player with offers from schools as far as Texas and Florida.

“I decided on Kent State mostly because of the coaching staff and seeing the team and how well meshed together they were,” Haugh said.

In seven games for the Flashes, Haugh has two goals, both of which came last week, including a game-winning goal against Duquesne. Her performance was spectacular enough to get the honor of being named of Mid-American Conference Player of the Week.

“I found out from the girls on the team, they were messaging me and congratulating me,” Haugh said. “It felt really good, it’s an honor as a freshman to receive something like that.”

Making the jump from a high school program to a college program has been a big change for Haugh, but she feels the biggest change is in the style of play between Canada and the U.S.

“The biggest difference is the physical style and other parts I guess, like the speed of play,” Haugh said. “Canada is like a long ball type of game but here it’s more of passing and fast moving. It’s a different style of play … you have to get used to it but it’s been exciting and fun.”

While she works to get used to the new system she is in at Kent, the psychology major is thankful for the senior leadership both on and off the field.

“Being on the soccer team helps a lot with learning around the campus and everything, especially with not being from being anywhere around here,” Haugh said. “It helps having people that are in different grades, especially the upperclassmen to help you get around and build that connection and friendship that way.”

The upperclassmen leadership that the Flashes have this year makes Haugh confident in the team’s ability for the rest of her time on the team.

“I think the upperclassmen are amazing,” Haugh said. “They treat the freshmen like equals, they don’t treat us like we are lower than them, they play with us and just as hard as us and expect the same from everyone.”

So far the Flashes have a record of 5-2 with their last non-conference warm up against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Friday at 4 p.m., and Haugh feels the team is in the spot they imagined themselves in.

“I think that in the start of MAC play it will be interesting to see how well we can stay together as a team,” Haugh said. “I think if we can stay together, we will be fine and I think we’re all excited to be there.”

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected] or on Twitter @gonzoEdu.