Women's Soccer News: New England Mutiny's Kate Howarth
The New England Mutiny's roster for their 2012 Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Elite League season has many dynamic and dedicated female soccer players. Here is the special story of one player on the team.
|Kate Howarth in action on the soccer field.
Accidents and injuries happen all the time on the soccer field. Careers are ruined with an ACL tear. The next time you turn your ankle playing in a soccer game and it feels like you just can't go on, you can think of Kate Howarth. In 2010, Howarth was ten matches into her season for the University of Miami Hurricanes before suffering an injury: a broken fibula and dislocated ankle.
Howarth, who is back on the field playing soccer for the WPSL Elite League's New England Mutiny, worked hard during her recovery but her passion for soccer kept her strong. This is her story of determination and passion for the world’s greatest game.
After an arduous 11-month recovery, Howarth returned to play soccer for the Hurricanes better and stronger than prior to her injury. She started and played in all 19 games of the 2011 season, capping a successful campaign by leading the team in scoring, which included three game-wining goals (11 g, 7a, 29pts).
Kate was named to the 2011 All-ACC Second Team and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Southeast Third Team for her efforts. But more importantly, Miami would have its most successful season to date, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament and making it to the Second Round before falling 1-0 to No. 21 Long Beach State.
Howarth has taken the strong run of form with her on her trip north to train with the New England Mutiny (0-1-0 WPSL Elite) of WPSL Elite this summer. The short-handed Mutiny fell to the New York Fury (who have several former Women's Professional Soccer players) by a 5-1 score last Saturday, but a highlight on the night was the play of Howarth up top for Head Coach Tony Horta.
The Grand Blanc, MI-native was making and creating scoring chances for herself and her teammates, culminating in the Mutiny's first-ever WPSL Elite goal by Tiya Gallegos who converted on a rebound from a hard Howarth shot.
"I thought Kate was excellent," said Horta. "I think we're going to see a lot of her. I gave her the freedom to exploit those places that she likes to go into. We need to get a player that can compliment her with her speed and with being interchangeable."
This Saturday, New England will look to rebound themselves as they host the ASA Chesapeake Charge at 7:00 PM at East Longmeadow High School. The Mutiny will be relying on Howarth to build off her strong debut for the team, and a part of the buildup to this weekend's match, she dropped by to answer five questions:
SNN: Out of all the soccer teams to join this summer, why WPSL Elite New Egnland Mutiny
Kate Howard: Brendan [Faherty, Mutiny Director of Player Personnel] reached out to me about coming up here for the summer, training and playing. I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I think this league is loaded with great players and the competition is great. I'm just thankful for the chance to come out and compete every day.
SNN: Tom Aragnost is not only your coach at Miami, but he was your coach at Powers Catholic High School years before your Hurricane career. Not many players (if any at all in NCAA history) have had something like that happen to them. How has that reunion been like?
Kate Howarth: Tom is a wonderful coach! From the time I started watching the high school team play when I was in junior high, I was always excited to play for him. He has a way of coaching that is different from most; he just finds ways to bring out the best in each player. A lot of people don't understand his philosophy at first but once you get the team to buy into it, it really does work. I was really upset at Tom when he left my high school, but we stayed in touch and I never hesitated to call him when I needed advice.
When I got the email from him saying he had been offered the job at Miami, I just couldn't wait to get started. The transition was tough for the entire team. He made it as hard as he could to see how committed we were as a team, but we came together and it made us better, stronger. It has been great having Tom as a coach. I really couldn't have asked for anyone better!
SNN: When most people think about the ACC, programs like North Carolina, Duke and Virginia first come to mind. How validating was it for you and your Miami Hurricane teammates to not only qualify for last season's NCAA Tournament but make it to the Second Round?
Kate Howarth: When people think of the ACC they think of a really strong conference: really competitive, with successful teams. In the past, I don't think many people thought of Miami, NC State or Clemson. Those teams generally got put on the back burner. We have always been the underdog going into games, but we definitely work hard and create great opportunities to win games. I think more and more people are learning not to underestimate us. Every game during conference play is going to be a battle.
This past season, we got a chance to prove ourselves, and I think we earned a lot more respect from people. We just go out and play the best soccer that we can every game.
SNN: Injuries happen in every sport. However, the injury you suffered in your sophomore season can rattle anyone's career. What were the keys in your rehabilitation, both physically and mentally?
Kate Howarth: The injury was definitely daunting. I had never suffered a severe injury before that and when my doctor told me it was going to be a major procedure, I knew it would be a long, difficult process. The hardest part for me was remaining positive through the whole process. It was such a slow, day-in and day-out process that it was easy to lose sight of the positives and become negative. The first day I was cleared to walk again, I physically couldn't. It really taught me to appreciate the little things and never take things for granted. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the game I love.
My PT always reminded me how important the little steps in process were and not to overlook them. Her support and encouragement really helped get me through. It really kept be pushing to the end.
SNN: An interesting side note to the injury you suffered was who was on the other side of the collision: former Florida State defender and now your current teammate Mutiny Toni Pressley. Have you two talked since that encounter? Let bygones be bygones?
Kate Howarth: (laughs) Let's just say I would rather have her on my team. Things happen, it is all a part of the game.
All photos courtesy of New England Mutiny
About the New England Mutiny: The New England Mutiny are a charter member of the WPSL East Conference, winning five East titles while reaching the WPSL National Final on two occasions. The Mutiny will compete in WPSL Elite in 2012, competing against the Boston Breakers, WNY Flash, New York Fury, Chicago Red Stars, F.C. Indiana, ASA Chesapeake and the Philadelphia Fever. For more information on the team, please visit the New England Mutiny web page or send an e-mail to Info@MutinySoccer.com. AAA (American Automobile Association) of Pioneer Valley is the Official Team Sponsor of the Mutiny. You can also follow the team on Twitter and Facebook.
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