An Interview With Past HUSC Player Monica Stephans

What was your jersey number with Hartford United?

Where are you currently playing and what position(s) are you playing?
I am currently playing soccer at St. Norbert College and I play as a forward and center midfielder.

Do you have a goal to play professional soccer after college?
Growing up, I always thought it would be cool to play soccer as a career, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that after college I am going to hang up my cleats and focus solely on my education and career path.

Do you plan to coach once your playing career is over?

I do plan to coach once my playing career is over. It may not be right away, but it is definitely something I would like to get into. I want to give back to young players, what my coaches have given to me.

Were you excited or nervous to join HUSC?

I was definitely nervous to join HUSC! Switching from playing recreational soccer to a competitive club is a big change for anybody to make. It can be intimidating and scary, but if you want to grow in your soccer abilities, it is an essential transition to make. I’m really happy that I got the opportunity to join HUSC, because it has done more for me as a player and person than I could have ever imagined.

Any memories of the transition to HUSC that you can share for new players joining us?

I was a little nine year old girl trying out for a 12 year old boys team and I didn’t know if I was good enough. Through the help of my teammates and coaches, I developed my skills into a much better player than I started as and I ended up playing with boys for the next five years until I made the switch back to girls when I got to high school. Being nervous and scared is completely normal, but you grow the most when you are put out of your comfort zone, so stick with it!

If you could meet up with one HUSC coach for breakfast who would it be and why?
I would probably meet up with Coach Schrot. He was my first coach at HUSC and continued to coach me periodically all through high school. Now that I am away at college, I don’t get to see him much and I think it would be nice to meet up for breakfast to catch up and pretend to laugh at his “funny” jokes 🙂

If you had to do it all over again, is there anything that you would do different?
To be honest, I don’t think I would change anything. I am happy that I joined HUSC and I worked hard while playing there to get where I am today.

What was most important to you in your development as a player with Hartford United SC?
In order to get where I am today, I had to show up to every practice ready to work hard, and I had to put in a lot of time outside of games and practice to improve my individual skills. All the time you put in, WILL pay off in the end.

What is your proudest accomplishment with Hartford United SC?
My proudest accomplishment with Hartford United SC would have to be being a captain on each of the teams I have played on. I have been lucky enough to have add amazing teammates throughout my years playing at HUSC and I am very thankful for that. Being able to lead those teams, is something I am very proud of and it allowed me to develop my leadership skills more and more each year.

What advice would you give current players as they set goals in hopes of playing at the college level?

Set goal for yourself that are realistic for yourself, focus on you as an individual and how you can improve because by developing your own skills, you will be able to benefit your team more and more. But most importantly, remember to HAVE FUN, because at the end of the day, that’s what it is all about!

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