Pitch perfect: Trinity athlete breaks ground

For The Tribune

The high school soccer season in Indiana is completed for 2016, but that doesn’t mean Lydia Haak has stopped training.

Haak plans to play indoor soccer this winter and is preparing to play soccer at Concordia University in Wisconsin.

“I usually run a mile after school and I do footwork,” she said. “College is like another level so you have to constantly keep your body in shape. You can’t let that go.

“Soccer is definitely a family environment, but I think what has drawn me closer to it is when I’m out there I don’t think of anything else but soccer. It’s just a stress reliever.”

The Trinity Lutheran senior started taking to the pitch when she was 5 years old.

“I did the park and rec leagues in Columbus since I was 5,” Haak said. “I played softball, volleyball and basketball but I stayed with soccer because I can release more energy there than in the other sports.”

Haak said she was the first female soccer player at Trinity.

She played coed with the boys team for two years before the girls formed their own team in 2015.

“I was the only girl my freshman year, but my sophomore year there were two others,” Haak said. “It really showed me a lot about myself. There were some hard times on those guys teams, but if I could do that I could pretty much do anything.”

While it took some adjusting at first, Haak enjoyed playing with the boys.

“It was intimidating at first, but it was probably the best experience of my life,” Haak said. “There is definitely a different dynamic between guys and girls soccer. The guys watched out for me and treated me like one of them.”

Haak played a variety of positions throughout her high school career.

“I mostly played midfield,” Haak said. “That was my main position on the girls team. Sometimes the coach would move me down to sweeper or up to forward. I either did left side or center. I liked the center because most of the action happens in the center.”

Haak said she enjoyed marking up people, but noted the game can become physical.

“I got a mild concussion my junior year but nobody really knew about it,” she said. “In the sectional my junior year I gave a girl a concussion. I kicked the ball really hard. It hit her square in the face.”

Haak didn’t score any goals this fall, but she did have some assists.

She said communication is a key to team play.

“It’s the basis of the game,” Haak said. “If you don’t have communication then nothing else will work. You had to work hard at practice, pay attention and stay focused.”

She said it was nice to score the first goal of a match.

An avid fan of the game, Haak always finds herself somehow involved in the game.

“I like watching soccer on TV,” Haak said. “I liked going to matches better.”

She said she has seen the Indy 11 play, and attended a match in Chicago to see the U.S. National women’s team play.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Haak file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name Lydia Haak

School: Trinity Lutheran High School

Parents: Larry and Sally Haak

Sibling: Nikolai

Sports: soccer 4 years

Athletic highlights: sectional champions 2013, 2014; Indiana Scholar Athlete 2014-2016

Organizations: National Honor Society, Student Ambassadors

Plans after high school: attend Concordia University in Wisconsin

Favorite food: macaroni and cheese

Favorite TV show: Criminal minds

Favorite singer: Justin Bieber

Favorite movie: Goal

Favorite athlete and team: Carli Lloyd, US Women’s National Team