Katie Hishmeh plays for Marquette University, (where she is currently a junior). She has started every game played by Marquette for the past 3 seasons (66 and counting) and in that time has helped the team to 3 consecutive Big East Divisional Champions and 1 Overall Big East Championship (2012). She took the time this week to talk about her experiences in college, and her time playing for the coaches at FC Wisconsin Eclipse.
Katie Hishmeh played youth soccer on an FC Milwaukee team coached by Christian Lavers that went on a remarkable run of national achievement over 3 years. During the team’s U16 – U18 seasons, the team proved itself as consistently one of the top 10 teams in the country by winning the USYS Midwest Regional League once and finishing second once, qualifying for 2 USYS Region II Midwest Championship Finals (where they dropped both heartbreaking games in overtime), and qualifying for both the Disney Showcase –Showcase Division Finals and the San Diego Surf Cup Finals (losing in overtime again). Katie played as a on outside back and a center back as a youth player, setting a tremendous example of mental toughness, consistency, and contributing on both ends of the field as an attacking defender. In high school, she played club soccer year round her junior and senior year. Katie also played in the WPSL each season of her college career, helping lead the 2010 WPSL team to the Final Four.
Katie went on to play at Marquette University, (where she is currently a junior). She has started every game played by Marquette for the past 3 seasons (66 and counting) and has helped the team to 3 consecutive Big East Divisional Champions and 1 Overall Big East Championship (2012). She was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week the week of October 10, and, continuing her work as an attacking defender has recorded 1 goal and 5 assists from outside back this season.
How did you pick Marquette University as the place you wanted to go to school and play college soccer?
"I loved the environment at Marquette. It had everything on my list - not only did it have great academic programs but it also had a distinctive soccer program. Marquette’s soccer program stood out in my mind because not only did it encourage a high level of soccer but it also influenced players to form a “family” relationship within the team. Throughout my youth career, I learned that soccer was more than just the wins and losses. Of course that was part of it, but the memories that I cherished most were the moments off the field and the friendships that I was able to build. Going into college, I still wanted to continue to play soccer at a high level but at the same time emphasize the importance of friendships and memories off the field and Marquette was the perfect place to do both!"
How did the training and competition you had as a youth player help prepare you for collegiate success?
"My training as a youth player was very competitive and I think that is critical in order to have success in college. My youth team was very devoted to working hard and getting better every practice and it was really helpful to be in that environment in order to improve as a player! Every practice and competition was hard work, but putting in that work made the transition into college much easier!"
What is your favorite part about playing in college?
"I love being able to represent Marquette in athletics. Being part of collegiate athletics is a great way to get involved in your school and build relationships within your team. I also love competing in games and helping Marquette soccer achieve bigger and better things!"
What are your favorite memories of playing in club?
"I had a lot of great memories from club! All my best friends were on my club team so I always looked forward to practice because I was able to play soccer and be with my friends at the same time. I also loved all the big events that we participated in and the traveling! Being able to compete against players from all over the country as a youth player is a rare opportunity, but is something that I was really fortunate to be able to experience by playing in club."
How do you think your soccer career (youth and college) helped you the most?
"My soccer career always kept me motivated. Early in my soccer career I was taught to set goals and to strive to achieve them. That definitely helped me set high standards for myself in college. Soccer has given me a confidence that I don’t believe I could have attained from anything else. It also gave me structure as a youth to know exactly what I was doing every day after school and it helped me manage my time in college. My soccer career has been nothing but beneficial towards my life and although I could list a million great things about how soccer has helped me, I know for sure that it has encouraged me to give 100% effort in everything I do!"
What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had given you while you were a youth soccer player?
"I know for a fact that someone gave me this advice, but it wasn’t harped on enough! The best piece of advice would be to embrace the experiences you have as a youth player! Time goes by fast so embrace every moment on and off the field! Accept and love the environment that you get as a youth player, it is unique. Use the feedback and learning you get there to make yourself a better player and person - it will pay off!"