Hampton soccer standout Lanie McLaughlin chooses Youngstown State
Friday, December 20, 2019 | 6:54 PM
It takes a village to raise a good soccer player. Lanie McLaughlin knows this well — and it’s a big reason why she’ll continue her career after high school.
Hampton’s senior class was special. It’s the first in recent memory to make the WPIAL playoffs in all four seasons, with many of its key contributors four-year starters or letterwinners.
“I think the reason we were able to succeed was because of our chemistry and our competitive chemistry,” said McLaughlin, who will attend Youngstown State in the fall on a soccer scholarship.
“In order to have a good team, I think you have to have a good competitive stance toward your other teammates. Because someone could take your spot instantly.”
That competitive nature helped McLaughlin forge a bond with her teammates, some of whom she’s been playing with since the age of 6, when she decided to play soccer because her only friend at the time encouraged her to join.
“She ended up quitting two weeks later, and I kept with it,” McLaughlin said with a laugh.
By freshman year, she knew she wanted to play in college. Her club team, Century FC, was able to find her the proper showcases and the interest started rolling in from Division II and III schools.
McLaughlin balanced her club schedule with high school soccer, where she became a major contributor for Hampton, earning all-section honors in 2018 and ’19, and All-WPIAL honors this season, as well.
Last January, the club team had a showcase, and she met Youngstown State coach Brian Shrum. She visited the campus and committed on the spot.
“I fell in love with the fact that the team and coach were so family oriented,” she said. “They’re focused on making everybody feel special, like they were at home. It made me feel like that could be my home.”
McLaughlin also appreciated the urban environment Youngstown offers and will major in biology or forensics.
“I like more of a city view on college campuses,” she said.
“McLaughlin is a prototypical defender who will be asked to help (shore) up the backline and build upon our defensive concepts,” Shrum said on the team website.
“Lanie likes to get forward from a center back position on the dribble and create overload situations in the midfield. She also can beat you with driven balls behind a high defense and has a blue collar work ethic that is needed to build a program.”
It’s a work ethic developed over time with the teammates that helped push her.
“A lot of my success is because of the fact I’ve been playing soccer so long with these people,” she said. “I give the credit to the girls that I play next to. I think they do a great job of lifting each other up and really made me feel special, which is why I could succeed.”
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