“I chose to come to JBU because I fell in love with the heart and the culture of this school.”
The JBU Women’s Soccer Team is already well into their season, having defeated their first four opponents and traveled to Chicago to play in the Olivet Nazarene Tournament. The Eagles have to credit their impressive record in part to the four new freshman rounding out the team this year, Sara Hughes, Allie McCraken, Hannah Sweaney, and Katie Haar.
“I am excited about this group of young ladies,” said the Women’s Soccer Coach Kathleen Paulsen. “It’s exciting to have a group of women that have the same purpose within our program of maintaining a Christ-centered team culture, while pursuing excellence on the field.”
Sara Hughes, a nursing major and Center Defender from Albuquerque, New Mexico, agrees with her coach as to the nature of her team.
“I chose to come to JBU because I fell in love with the heart and the culture of this school,” she said. “I fell in love with what this team stood for.” Coming off of a successful high school career with three state championships, two player of the year awards and four defender of the year awards, Hughes is looking to make a big impact on the field this year.
Allie McCraken, a Kinesiology major and Mid-Fielder from Tyler, Texas, is likewise looking to help her team both on and off the field.
“This season I am most looking forward to getting closer with my team,” McCraken said. “Being a part of a team gives you motivation and makes you feel a part of something bigger than soccer.”
Hannah Sweaney, a Kinesiology major and an Outside Back player from Springfield, Missouri, comes to JBU after an impressive high school career. She was co-captain of her team (the best team in the program’s history) and scored 11 goals her senior year. Her performance on the field is not what she values most, however.
“My favorite part about playing soccer is the way 20 plus girls, a lot of whom would never speak to each other if it wasn’t for soccer, can come together and celebrate the fact that they all love playing the same game,” she said.
Katherine Haar, an International Business major and Center Mid-Fielder from Centennial, Colorado, is the fourth freshman to join the JBU Women’s Soccer team. She has already made an impact at JBU, having scored one goal and having one assist already this season. She had a successful high school career as well, her team having finished second in state. She says she chose to come to JBU mainly because of the coach and the team.
“Kathleen is an amazing coach and woman,” Coach Paulsen said. “God definitely put all the pieces together though.” Paulsen said she is excited about this year’s group of incoming freshmen, believing that they have already made large contributions both on and off the field.
The Eagles will continue their season playing Bethel on September 23 at 5 p.m. at the University.