Hoppe leading for women’s soccer

The graduate student forward from Austin, Texas is creating a legacy that will last with the program for years to come

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Zulfiqar Ahmed | Northern Star

Graduate student forward Haley Hoppe dribbles past a defender during a match on Sept. 23. Hoppe is helping the next generation of women’s soccer players while continuing to lead the Huskies offense.

Davione Barrow, Sports Reporter

A legacy is often defined by what you leave behind. Graduate forward Haley Hoppe is building a legacy within the program that is sure to last a lifetime. 

Hoppe attended Rouse High School in her hometown of Austin, Texas, where she would start her soccer career and begin to make a name for herself. Hoppe scored 35 goals in her senior year and helped bring her team to the Texas State 5-A semifinals. 

Hoppe then chose NIU for her collegiate career, where she would be on the All-Mid-American Conference freshman team and named to the All-MAC second team in her first season with the Huskies. 

In her freshman campaign, Hoppe played in 19 matches, starting in 13.  Hoppe played a total of 1,462 minutes that season, scoring three goals and acquiring a lot of experience to grow from. 

Graduate student forward Haley Hoppe dribbles the ball in a game against Chicago State on Aug. 26. (Zulfiqar Ahmed | Northern Star)

Hoppe continued to elevate her play moving into her sophomore season, earning academic All-MAC honors. 

In 2019, her junior year, Hoppe only played  seven games. However, in that season, she started all but one game and scored a goal that season.

Hoppe has been a big leader for her team, leading by example for the Huskies and speaking out to rally the troops if and when need be. 

“We’ve seen her step up in a lot of ways, both on the field and off the field,”  head coach Julie Colhoff said. 

Teammates also call her a joy to play with and is great on both sides of the ball. 

“I think she’s one of the best forwards that I’ve played with,” junior goalkeeper Sadie McGill said. “She’s super aggressive and helps out a lot on defense. I love her on corner kicks both offensively and defensively.” 

Hoppe scored two goals on a shot percentage of 50% in her senior year. The Huskies finished that season 1-9, but Hoppe opted to come back for another season with the team despite the record. 

“The biggest reason (I came back) is my teammates,” Hoppe said. “I absolutely adore them. They are fantastic, and they are a huge reason why I came back this year.” 

Colhoff described Hoppe as an exceptional player but believes there is still room for her to grow and learn at the next level. 

The NIU women’s soccer team mobs graduate student forward Haley Hoppe after scoring the winning goal against Indiana State on Aug. 22 in DeKalb. Hoppe’s goal in the 104th minute gave the Huskies their first victory of the season. (Courtesy of Scott Walstrom/NIU Athletics)

“One big thing is making sure she stays focused on playing her game and just the consistency of her movement of the ball,” Colhoff said. “Obviously, she is a dangerous player, and people are aware of her.” 

In the nine games thus far, Hoppe has started every game for the Huskies, along with being at the forefront of the attack for most games leading the younger ladies. Hoppe has two goals, an assist, and has eight shots this season, of which half have been on target.

Hoppe talked about how important it is for her to be the catalyst for her team coming into matches and building off one another’s energy.  

“I think it is incredibly important, not only just for me but for everyone on the team,” Hoppe said. “When we come out of each game, all of us contribute to each other’s energy, and how we all show up really matters, especially come game time.” 

Hoppe and the Huskies are 4-8 this season but are dedicated and diligent in doing what needs to be done to be in the MAC tournament. 

Hoppe is currently majoring in biomedical engineering and credits Colhoff as a big part of her development as a player over the years.

“She has challenged me in ways that coaches in the past have never challenged me before,” Hoppe said. “I think that’s because she truly believes in me as a player and my teammates as well.”

When Hoppe finally hangs up the cleats for NIU, she will be leaving behind a pack of ladies who will always remember her emphatic energy and willingness to leave it all on the field for her coach and her teammates until the whistle blows.