Five Pennridge Seniors Commit to Play Collegiate Soccer

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, five Pennridge seniors were recognized for committing to continue their soccer careers at the collegiate level. To view photos of the event, please visit the Photo Gallery.

Katie Fischer – University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Soccer)
Undecided possibly Nursing
Final list of colleges:  UNC-Charlotte, St. Joe’s, Temple, Elon University
Reasons for choosing UNC-Charlotte:  “Since my freshman year, I knew I wanted to go South because I like the warm weather and the different lifestyle down there. UNC-Charlotte’s campus is just beautiful, and the coaching staff was really welcoming and nice. I also liked the girls a lot.”
What was the progression that led you to playing soccer at the collegiate level?  “From a young age, I wanted to play in college. I wasn’t sure at what level until eighth or ninth grade. I set my goals really high – I really only wanted to go D-1, but if no offers came through, I was willing to play at any level. The recruiting process probably started freshman year. I started looking at a lot of schools, but I started narrowing it down my sophomore and junior year.”

Coach Audrey Anderson says:  “What a huge presence on the field. Katie has been a captain since her sophomore year, mainly because she is always so calm. You don’t usually see panic in her. She’s very composed on the field. She’s just one of those kids that wants to play soccer. You see it on her face when she’s out there – she doesn’t have to play, she wants to play, and it shows when she’s playing in the game. She will win the balls out of the air, and she is good at distributing. She will shoot right foot, she will shoot left foot, and that makes her a very versatile player. You can’t really defend her to one side or the other. You just have to defend her the right way.”
About Katie:
Favorite food:  Oreos
Favorite movie:  Harry Potter Series
Favorite music:  Country & Pop

Savanna Harrison – Kutztown University (Soccer)
Final list of colleges: 
Kutztown, Shippensburg, American
Reasons for choosing Kutztown: “I chose Kutztown because the coach was really welcoming as well as the other coaches, and the campus was beautiful. All the facilities and the academics were great, so it just seemed like the right fit for me.”
What was the progression that led you to play soccer at the collegiate level?  Since I was little, I have always known I wanted to continue my soccer career after high school. It was a dream of mine to play at the college level.”

Coach Audrey Anderson says:  “Savanna is a hard worker, she’s determined, and she will never quit. Those three things make Savanna who she is. Everyone likes her. She is one of the most likeable kids that I have ever met. Going into the summertime and talking to some of the incoming freshmen, they said, ‘Savanna is so nice. We’re so glad Savanna is there – she makes us feel so welcome.’ She was a clear leader for those girls. That’s who they looked to – she made them feel comfortable and calm because it is intimidating to come to Pennridge and play soccer. To have someone like Savanna who made the girls feel so comfortable and welcome was huge.
“When I first met Savanna, she was a goalie. She decided at the age of 11 she didn’t want to be a goalie anymore, so she needed to do a lot of work to catch up to everybody. She wasn’t necessarily the best player, but she worked so hard. Everything that girl has and has received is because of hard work. I love telling these young kids the story of Savanna because people think you have to be the best right out of the gate. Here’s a girl that was a keeper, and then she decided she wanted to play on the field. All that hard work that everyone else was doing, she now had to double it.”
About Savanna:
Favorite food:  Ice Cream
Favorite movie:  Get Smart
Favorite music:  Alternative

Melissa Lyon – Drexel University (Soccer)
Final list of colleges: 
Drexel, West Chester
Reasons for choosing Drexel:  “I went for an overnight at Drexel, and everyone was so nice. We got cookies at midnight, and it was so much fun. By the time I left, I was like, ‘This is the school for me.’ My brother goes to school in Philly, and I really liked it.”
What was the progression that led you to playing soccer at the collegiate level?  “Ever since I started playing, I knew I loved it, and I wanted to play it for the rest of my life. But I didn’t know if I’d be able to play in college until sophomore year when I started getting a bunch of e-mails, and I realized I could actually play in college if I wanted to. I’m really excited to go to Drexel.”
Coach Audrey Anderson says:  “Every team needs a Melissa, truly, 100 percent they need a Melissa. When things go terribly wrong, Melissa is there to make everybody laugh. As important as she is on the field, she’s so much more than that to a team. She’s kind of like the heart of the team. When she’s having a bad day, people notice, and it’s not the same. She will give you 100 percent on the field. That girl will run through a brick wall if the coach asks her to.  She’s very hard on herself, and I hope she sits back and maybe reflects after this season, looks at herself and says, ‘It’s okay for me to make mistakes, it’s okay for me not to be perfect.’ That’s what makes Melissa such a great player is that she’ll keep working even after those mistakes happen. She’s just a tremendous asset. Her speed, her shots – sometimes you’ll say, ‘Where did she come from? How did she score that goal?’ Once she starts believing in how good she is there’s not going to be a limit to what she could do.”

About Melissa:
Favorite food:  
Favorite movie:  She’s the Man
Favorite music:  Rap or anything that sounds good.

Kennedy Peace – Hampton University – Soccer
Major:  Strategic Communications
Final list of colleges:  Hampton, Cornell
Reasons for choosing Hampton:  “I knew my dad had gone there, my aunt had gone there, and when I was younger, I really wanted to go there, but they didn’t have a soccer program until recently. It’s a very new program. I thought I could go and make an impact. My dad really enjoyed it there, and when I went on visits, I felt so welcomed. I love that feeling. When I stepped on the campus and I started interacting with some of the people, I’m like, ‘I want to go here.’ I have a couple of friends that are already there, and they say they love it, and my dad loved it.”
What was the progression that led you competing in soccer at the collegiate level? “My dad helped me so much in this process. It was crazy. I had a couple colleges way back when, and then I visited them when my dad was on a business trip. Cornell came up, and I was super interested in that. A couple of things fell through, and everything kind of fell together at Hampton. Everything worked out for the right reasons. It was almost like it was meant to be. It was like fate, and it was super awesome.
“I was thinking the other day – what are the odds that the school I wanted to go to that didn’t have a soccer program now has a soccer program within the recent years that I’m graduating. I think that’s pretty cool. It’s a new program, so it’s the start of something. I’m really excited.”
Coach Audrey Anderson says:  “I’ve enjoyed watching Kennedy grow these last eight years into the player she is today. When Kennedy was younger, she didn’t have a lot of confidence in herself. I used to tell her – ‘You’re a forward, just dribble the ball and get a shot off.’ Now she’s fighting for balls. She’s turning and getting shots off where most people wouldn’t even think to do it. To see Kennedy now and to see where she started from is huge. She has speed, she can shoot right or left foot, she is not afraid to take on a keeper 1v1, and she’s that kid who can be a goofball. She makes girls laugh. I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie between the Peace sisters. Kennedy is a super, super sweet girl, but you don’t want to mess with her because Kouri is going to be there to take care of business. Kennedy is going to create a legacy (at Hampton). I hope she goes in there and sets the standard for whoever comes next, and she can. She has a very strong personality. She can be that person that says, ‘This is what’s needed to make this program a success.’ I hope she understands she can play a huge role in that program. I think that school hit the lottery with her.”
About Kennedy:
Favorite food:  “My mom makes the best Mac ‘N Cheese.”
Favorite movie: The Cheetah Girls
Favorite music:  Anything Beyonce

Erin Stevenson – University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Soccer)
Physical Therapy
Final list of colleges:  UMBC, St. Joe’s, Towson, ODU
Reasons for choosing UMBC:  “I chose it because of how comfortable the campus felt, and the team chemistry just seemed like a family.”
What was the progression that led you to playing soccer at the collegiate level? “When I was younger, I always knew I wanted to play in college. Probably in my sophomore year the recruiting process became really competitive. I knew what I wanted to do and at what level.”

Coach Audrey Anderson says:  “I could say a ton of things about Erin. She’s probably one of the toughest, smartest soccer players I’ve coached. She has had numerous injuries, but she never complains about them, she never makes an issue about them, and she never uses them as an excuse. She is a teammate’s best friend. I feel like everybody looks to her to put them at ease. She’ll do whatever is needed for the team – she’ll play defense, she’ll play midfield, she’ll play up top. If I asked her to go in goal, she’d go in goal. She will be a very exciting college player to watch. I just think where she’s at now in her soccer career – I really look forward to seeing her in the next couple of years to see how much further she’s gone.”
About Erin:
Favorite food:  Chicken Wings
Favorite movie:  We’re the Millers
Favorite music:  Rap