Freshman Meghan Hutchison's production, attitude brings new hope to Van Buren girls soccer team

George "Clay" Mitchell
Press Argus-Courier

Meghan Hutchison's goal was to make the varsity team as a freshman this season.

Not only did she accomplish that this season, she became Van Buren's leading scorer and finished with 13 goals, including four against Vilonia.

"She's really gotten comfortable with her role," coach Brian Dodson said. "She's not afraid of the moment. She's aggressive, and it doesn't matter who we're playing. She's going to go after the ball.

"Her energy is contagious on the field."

PLAYER GETS ON BASE:How designated hitter Easton Reichard has played a role in the success of Van Buren baseball

RETURNING TO THE FAIRWAY:James Lemley ready to lead the way as Van Buren's newest golf coach

The Lady Pointers (7-9-3, 5-6-2 5A West) were in contention for a playoff spot until the final week of the season, but losses to Russellville and Siloam Springs hindered that as Van Buren finished fifth.

"The good deal was that we were able to have a conversation this late in the year about making the playoffs," Dodson, who finished his first season as the Lady Pointer head coach. "This program hasn't had that opportunity going into its final games. Next year, it'll be about getting into that Top 4."

Hutchison was one of seven underclassmen for the team this season. Dodson said Hutchison showed up each day at the early-morning practices with a good attitude, even when it's 30 or 40 degrees.

"It's like a family out here and such a positive environment. They make me want to wake up early and come out here to practice with them," Hutchison said. "Even though I'm a freshman, they give me the same respect I give them and make me want to give it my all."

Hutchison has played soccer since she was 3, and while she has dabbled in cross country, track and volleyball, she's focused on soccer.

"I work really hard in all my sports, but I worked really hard because I love this sport," Hutchison said. "It was a whole new season for the Van Buren girls. We all had the motivation to get better. We got closer and closer with each game and practice."