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January 14, 2014

Taking it to the next level

Former Lahser soccer player, Eagan, takes her game to the NCAA

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

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Pictured in white is Albion soccer player and Bloomfield Hills Lahser graduate Caroline Eagan, who was voted to the All-MIAA (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) second team.

Former Bloomfield Hills Lahser soccer player Caroline Eagan earned an individual accolade in her first season playing for Albion College, as she was voted to the All-MIAA second team.

Eagan, who played her first year of college soccer at Spring Arbor University, completed her sophomore season at Albion. And while Eagan indicated she hadn’t given a lot of thought to being voted to the All-MIAA (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) team, she said she was “super excited” after learning she had earned the accolade.

Aside from giving her confidence moving forward, being selected to the honor  team could go a long way toward enhancing what has already been an enjoyable experience playing college soccer.

“I’m grateful for it every single day,” Eagan said of the opportunity to play at the college level. “I love it so much. I have no idea what I would do without it. The experience at Albion was great. It was awesome to be able to play soccer, but it’s also great our coach recognizes that we have other things going on. I really enjoyed it because I got to focus on school, and at the same time, enjoy playing college soccer.”

Aside from support she has received along the way from her dad, Bill Eagan, Albion coach Eric Scott, her former coach at Lahser, Kevin McConnell, her professors, and her friend Isabel Fontana, Eagan offered some thoughts as to what some of the keys have been to come as far as she has in her soccer career.

“I think what it really takes is just loving the game,” she said. “It’s all about sticking with it. Anybody can play college soccer if they love soccer enough and work hard enough.”

Eagan cited her role as a team captain on Lahser’s team with helping her develop some leadership skills. She also credits soccer for helping to teach her other valuable lessons that can be applied both on and off the field.

“I’ve learned a lot through the years of soccer about leadership,” Eagan said. “I’ve learned a whole bunch about keeping a positive attitude, and what it takes to be a leader on and off the field. What I’ve learned is people follow by example. Especially with the freshmen — I want them to strive to be their best, so I try and be my best.”

While, in the future, Eagan indicated she may want to be an athletic trainer at the Division I level, a more immediate goal is to try to make the most of the time she has remaining at Albion.

“Try and finish with an MIAA title,” Eagan said of a short-term goal at Albion. “But I would love the team chemistry to continue to get better and the morale to keep going up. And, hopefully, be a leader and turn the Albion women’s soccer program around — it’s really the ultimate goal. Coach says, ‘Championships are won in the off-season.’ I cannot wait to start training with the girls in the winter. I want everybody to stay positive, staying in shape and getting ready for next season.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.