Seymour’s Hiester signs with Hanover soccer


For The Tribune

When she visited Hanover College last year, Aidan Hiester said she knew that was where she wanted to continue her soccer career.

“When I visited Hanover’s campus last summer, it immediately felt like home,” the Seymour High School senior said. “I did an overnight with some of the soccer girls during the fall, attended a few classes the next day and even got to watch a practice. The girls were all so welcoming and already felt like a family.”

On Friday, Hiester signed a letter of intent to attend Hanover College and play soccer, and she plans to major in chemistry and psychology.

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“On top of that, I eventually want to go to dental school or med school, and Hanover gives me the opportunity to maintain high grades while continuing to play soccer and also to get involved in other extracurricular activities at the same time,” Hiester said. I’ve always loved playing sports and have always admired college athletes, but I didn’t start thinking about playing soccer in college until high school.”

Greg Musser, the girls soccer head coach at Seymour, said he feels Hiester can have an excellent career at Hanover.

“Having the ability to play anywhere on the field is going to allow her to compete for playing time right away,” he said. “Coach (James) Watts at Hanover is getting one heck of a player in Aidan, and I cannot wait to see what she does for their program over the next four years.”

Musser believes Hiester will bring useful intangibles to a college program.

“As I’ve stated before, Aidan is a natural leader on the soccer field,” Musser said. “The competitive edge she plays with, her never-quit attitude, how vocal she is and her work ethic are hard to match. She has the ability to bring players along with the example she sets, and that is what leads to a successful program.”

He raved about her contributions.

“Aidan has been one of the best leaders I have had the privilege of coaching in my 14-year career,” Musser said. “She is a natural leader, and her teammates would follow her anywhere. She has such a passion for everything she does, it is impossible not to want to be led by her.

“I judge leaders on many things. On the top of the list is how they left the state of the program when they graduated. There is no doubt our program is in a great place with talent and success, and that is in no small part due to Aidan’s leadership. She will be greatly missed.”

Hiester’s wide on-field experience should make her an important asset to a college team, too, he said.

“Aidan’s versatility on the soccer field is going to make her very valuable at Hanover,” Musser said. “Aidan has literally played every position in high school and at a high level.”

She began playing soccer in the Seymour recreational leagues at Freeman Field and started playing travel soccer at age 10 with the Seymour Cyclones and then with the Columbus Express throughout high school.

Hiester played all over the field with the Owls, outside mid her freshman year, goalie her sophomore year and half of her junior season then finished that fall at forward and moved to center/outside defense her senior year.

She was all-Hoosier Hills Conference honorable mention her sophomore and junior years, academic all-state her junior and senior years and earned all-HHC, all-district second team and team most valuable player honors as a senior.

“Aidan has been rock solid for this program, helping us to multiple 10-plus-win seasons,” Musser said. “Her class is the winningest class we’ve had at SHS with 43 wins. Aidan’s grit and determination has been a giant part of these wins. The team feeds off her competitive nature, and that competitiveness has now been ingrained in our program due to Aidan.”

Hiester said she liked playing on the turf field at home.

“I prefer a turf field,” she said. “I also felt like we were the most comfortable team on the pitch because we got the privilege to train on our beautiful field every day. We were surrounded by purple every practice and every game, and every time I stepped on the field, it felt like home.

“Since I’ve trained on a turf field basically my entire high school career, I got used to the speed of the ball and the consistency of the ground, whereas playing on grass, there could be holes or uneven surfaces that make the ball bounce in crazy directions.”

Hanover, which was 11-6-2 last season, has grass soccer fields, but the football field is turf, and when the Panthers are scheduled for an away game on turf, they generally train on the turf.

Hiester said she will be playing striker or outside back for Hanover.

“I love how close-knit all the players and coaches are to each other,” she said. “I’m excited to be able to be a part of a team knowing I can count on the girls next to me to support me both on and off the field. I feel I can contribute my leadership qualities, a positive attitude and a strong work ethic daily.”

Hiester has a powerful attachment to the game.

“Soccer makes me feel at home,” she said. “No matter if I have a good or bad day, soccer is always there and always finds a way to make my day better. When I’m on the field, nothing else in the world matters. I love how much of a team sport soccer is. There’s more to a soccer match than just running and kicking a ball, and I love learning something new every day about the ins and outs of soccer.”

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