HAPSIC LOOKS TO SPARK TURNAROUND FOR BENGAL SOCCER

Hapsic 2-COLORSven Alskog

Sports Editor

A four-year starter on the pitch for Idaho State soccer, senior goalkeeper Sheridan Hapsic looks to finish the 2015 season strong as the Bengals enter the heart of the Big Sky schedule.

While the season has not started the way ISU would have hoped in regards to wins and losses, the accomplishments of Hapsic on the field during her time in college cannot be forgotten.

Entering the season she had started in 50 games through her first three years, being named MVP of the Big Sky Conference tournament her freshman year and earning second-team All-Big Sky accolades following her sophomore campaign.

The obvious highlight of her career has been advancing to the 2012 NCAA College Cup to face Stanford after winning the Big Sky Conference tournament by knocking off Montana.

In that championship match Hapsic saved three penalty kicks in a match that was ultimately decided by them 4-3, also shutting out the Grizzlies over the course of regulation and two overtimes.

For a player that was not the full-time starter out of the gate that season, the effort was an impressive one.

“When I came in I had to fight for that position alongside two other goalkeepers who were both older than me,” said Hapsic. “I didn’t get starting job until the second game of conference my freshman year and just ran with it.”

After starting as a freshman, she now has a much different role as the veteran leader of a relatively young ISU team.

Being vocal is not a problem.

“I’ve always been known as a very vocal goalkeeper. Coming in my freshman year we had a very experienced defensive line and I just came in and filled that gap behind them,” stated Hapsic. “As years go on and players graduate I have had to step up and carry leadership role. I’m lucky to have Vanessa Cabilan who has also been starting since her freshman year as well because she helps out to lead the back end.”

Part of Hapsic’s leadership focus is on implementing an understanding of what it means to be a part of ISU soccer on and off the field on the younger players on the team.

“One of the big things we always say is that it is more than just play on field. You always represent ISU soccer whether you think you do or not. You constantly have to be aware of your surroundings. One of our biggest things is to be on our best behavior all the time. That doesn’t change whether at home or on the road.”

Originally from San Clemente, California, Pocatello has presented a much different area geographically and culturally.

“Physically, obviously, [Pocatello] is dryer and there is higher elevation here. I’m pretty much at sea level in San Clemente. My mom’s house is about a three-minute walk from the San Clemente Pier. So that was a big difference. No beaches. Lakes don’t count. So pretty. So different. Nice to be surrounded by hills and mountains.”

With so many of her peers becoming involved in soccer, it was a no-brainer for Hapsic to give it a shot.

“Growing up I wanted to play soccer because that’s what everyone else was doing, I was always the funny fat kid when I was younger. Everyone would say, ‘hey put her in goal’, because that’s what all the funny fat kids do when they are little. Then it turned out I was actually good at it.”

Once the potential of Hapsic was shown it became obvious she had a future in soccer.

The task was to then hone the raw skills that were being displayed.

“I didn’t get any formal goalkeeper training until 13 though, which is fairly late, and for most players that go to a four year college, that is really late.”

While she didn’t get as involved at as early of an age as you typically see for a division one athlete, the Bengal netminder has seen her interest pique over the last few years.

“I never really grew up watching soccer because I always had done it just for fun. Once I got older and was going to do it for college I really started to follow. Obviously, I follow Barcelona and Bayern Munich now and watch what their goalkeepers are doing,” said Hapsic.

Coming from a family with a diverse career background, her dad being a fireman and her mom a paralegal who also works as a real estate agent, Sheridan has a different type of career in mind.

“Right now I’m thinking if I don’t continue playing after this I will join the Navy and then come back to school and study occupational therapy. I’m getting a degree in health sciences with an emphasis in occupational therapy right now.”

Led by their senior goalkeeper, the Bengals will take on conference rival Montana on Friday at 4 p.m. at Davis Field.

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