Hoppe steals the soccer spotlight

By Ryan Ostry

With a season tallying an 8-10-1 record, NIU freshman women’s soccer player Hayley Hoppe stole the spotlight while achieving two honors for the Huskies.

The defenseman from Austin, Texas was named to the ALL-MAC Second Team, and to the MAC-All Freshman Team.

“This is a very well deserved honor for Haley after the kind of season she had,” Head Coach John Ross said. “Her hard work and determination is what allowed her to make an immediate impact on our team this season, and we’re excited about her potential in the years to come.”

Hoppe was the first freshman in NIU history to be named to an ALL-MAC team since the Huskies joined alliances in the MAC in 1997.

The electrical engineering student totalled seven points for the Huskies in the fall, with all three goals coming in conference play while dishing out an assist as well.

“Haley is a very talented and athletic player that can play multiple positions, especially at her primary of Center Back. She is very composed when receiving the ball and makes strong decisions in the defending third,” Ross said.

The young Huskie became the fifth NIU player in the past five seasons to make the ALL-Freshman team and third in three years to make an ALL-MAC team.

Hoppe crystallized the defensive back line for the Huskies when she was placed as starting center back role by the coaching staff.

“She has the ability to out the defense on their heels with her attacking ability from the center back position. Making runs forward and her ability to be lethal on set pieces will make her an offensive threat, as well as a shutdown defender here at NIU,” Ross said.

NIU finished the regular season with a 8-10-1 record with a (5-6) record in MAC play, the most wins in the MAC, and tied for the most overall wins under Ross’ tenure.