Speeding past the competition: Hannah Higgins
Oct. 3, 2009
Rachael Genson, Texas Media Relations
Friday night's physical match against Big 12 rival Missouri proved to be a grueling test of skill and endurance that allowed Hannah Higgins to shine.
As a freshman, Higgins finds herself in a starting position as forward on for the young Texas Longhorns. But her ability to carry her team in difficult moments is not a daunting task for her. She proved this point when she scored her second Big 12 goal of the season in the 23rd minute of the first half against the Tigers.
"Tonight was kind of a relief," Higgins said. "I just kind of stepped off the line. I was expecting it and waited for it. I just wanted to be sure that I had composure, so I composed myself and placed it right in the back of the net."
Her goal gave the team a little bit of cushion going though the rest of the first half and majority of the second half. The freshman also had the Horns' best look in the first overtime. Head coach Chris Petrucelli says has been really impressed with what he's seen out of the newcomer thus far.
"Hannah is becoming a real threat on the field, as you saw with the goal she scored," Petrucelli explained. "She will be a force going forward."
Not only has Hannah proved that she is able to score goals, but the Longhorn mentor also notes her speed being a definite advantage for her.
"She's got good speed, but it's her speed with the ball," he added. "She's great at running the ball and she's shown that she's a good finisher."
In both this game and last week's game against Oklahoma, Higgins' speed has been a crucial factor in her ability to score goals. Both times, she outran the opposing defender, leaving her in a one-on-one face-off with the opposing goal keeper.
With two goals already under her belt, Higgins currently leads the team in the number of goals scored during conference play.
Her speed, as well as her clear confidence, proves that her young age has not been a crippling factor in her abilities on the field. But Higgins isn't the only freshman growing before fans' eyes. Coach Petrucelli is very excited about the other seven freshmen as well and what they're bringing to the team.
"We're getting the chance to watch them grow and it's very exciting," Petrucelli commented. "Hannah had a little bit of trouble coming in because of an injury. But she's learned to toughen up and now she's being rewarded by not just playing, but scoring goals."
Overall, there seem to be good things in the future for the Texas Longhorns. Coach Petrucelli is ready to see what great things his team can bring over the next month of conference play and Hannah is more than ready to show him what she's got.
"College soccer is definitely a change," Higgins added. "We're all trying to step up, and just prove our point."