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|Haylea Myers: A Lady Eagle Star of the Future|
|Friday, 02 November 2012 10:57|
CentralPASportscenter.com Senior Writer
LOCK HAVEN – It might not have produced enough players to consider it as a pipeline, but a quick look at the list of former Lock Haven University soccer players from Bald Eagle-Nittany, Lock Haven and now Central Mountain is quite extensive.
On the men’s side, most recently have been such standouts as Paul Brungard, Chad Ferrar and Pat Long just to name a few. Ferrar was recently inducted into the Central Mountain Hall of Fame, Pat Long is an assistant at Bucknell and the son of former LHU standout Lenny Long who was a professor, former coach and player for the Bald Eagles.
On the girls side, Jamie Cranmer was a solid player for the Lady Eagles all four years of her undergraduate days at LHU, while Brittany Cranmer, Erin Shervinski and Lauren Heimer also played a few years for the Crimson & White.
“I think the Lock Haven area and the surrounding districts can be very proud of these athletes,” said Moore. “It is not that easy when you are in rural Pennsylvania because we don’t have all of those elite club teams like they might have in or closer to the big cities. If you live in Pittsburgh, Philly or even in the Harrisburg area, life is very much easier for a young sports person. For somebody coming out of Central Mountain, they can’t be trekking to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia one or two nights a week to participate in those development programs.”
So how does the quality of the locals compare to the talents of those from the metro areas? “
I have always said to people that the quality of these young athletes here is just as good as it is in the cities. The only difference is that here there aren’t as many as there are there. I have always felt that our best players, our best young people are equal to anybody from the metropolitan areas.”
The latest player to make her way to LHU to continue her education and play intercollegiate soccer is Haylea Myers, a freshman from Central Mountain. Having just completed her outstanding freshman season, nobody is happier to have her in the LHU program than LHU soccer coach Doug Moore.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have Haylea as a part of our program,” said Moore. “I think there is a young lady at Mercyhurst who scored a lot of goals and she is likely to get PSAC Player of the Year, but I will certainly nominate Halyea because she is worthy of that award. She is worth a nomination because as far as I am concerned, she has been quite phenomenal. She has come in here from a high school in a rural town and she hasn’t had the advantages of going to Florida and all of those huge tournaments and she has more than held her own. I would have to say she has been one of our best players this year and she is only a freshman.”
As far as being coachable, Moore would place Myers at the top of his list.
“She is like a sponge, always wanting information and knowledge,” Moore said. “She is also a very fit young lady which is a credit to her so that she can run and run and run. She has the heart of a lion and I think she is going to have a great future.”
Coming out of Central Mountain, Myers felt her high school program prepared her to play at the next level as much as it could have.
“It prepared me as much as it could,” Myers said about her high school program. “But college is a much different game. It is much faster and the players are much more physical, and you can’t get that experience by playing the normal high school teams. But again, I think they prepared me as much as they could have.”
Any time a high school athlete takes their talents to the next level, there are changes and adjustments that have to be made. Myers realized that and is making big strides in adjusting to the game at the collegiate level.
“I think one of my biggest adjustments I had to make was my heading,” she said. “I was terrible at heading the ball and I realized that was one thing I had to work on. I always played in the center, but now it is a bigger responsibility of holding the ball, making smart passes and just working hard in my work ethic to make those things happen.”
An outstanding player at Central Mountain, Myers was quick to realize that when she advanced to the college ranks, all of her teammates were also the kingpins of their high school programs.
“Just like today, I had a poor start, but I realized that I had to pick it up,” Myers said. “You have to realize that the other girls are also good players and if you want to be successful at this level, you have to pick it up a little bit.”
College soccer can be a very demanding and physical sport. When Myers made her way onto the field as a Lady Eagle, she realized that she would have to work on her strength to adapt to the physical nature of the game.
“I need to do some work during the off-season in that area,” said Myers. “I have to build up my muscles because you are going to get pushed around so you have to be able to push back to defend your territory. That (the physical play) is probably one of the biggest adjustments I am having to make.”
Now that the 2012 season is over for the Lady Eagles, that doesn’t mean that Myers is going to become a couch potato until next fall when she begins her sophomore season.
“I like to run a lot and that is probably one of the stronger points of my game,” she said. “I like to run long distance and keep my endurance up as well as continuing to work on my skills. I have to work hard on my first touch and just keep playing keep improving. Right now I am anxious for next year just to keep improving and it will also be exciting to see the new girls who will come in to be a part of next year’s team. I am really excited about my future and the future of this team.”
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