Sun, soccer draw NA’s Hannah Kirkpatrick to Tampa soccer program

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Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 5:28 PM


The promise of warm weather year-round and close proximity to a beach persuaded North Allegheny senior Hannah Kirkpatrick to join the Tampa soccer team next season.

Kirkpatrick, 17, of McCandless signed a letter of intent to the Division II school Feb. 5.

“I love the atmosphere,” she said. “It feels like home away from home.

“I want to make new friends and meet tons of people. I look forward to having fun at the beach and around the city.”

Kirkpatrick, a 5-foot-8 midfielder, scored four goals this season, including one in the Class AAAA championship game that sealed the Tigers’ first WPIAL title.

Tampa coach Erin Switalski said Kirkpatrick, who plans to study finance, will contribute right away. The Spartans were 5-9-1 overall and 5-4-1 in the Sunshine State Conference last season.

“She brings a tremendous work rate every day to her games and (training),” Switalski said. “Hannah has a wonderful natural athletic ability that she has (paired) with her (understanding) of the game, which makes her a very dangerous attacking player.”

North Allegheny coach Chuck Kelley said Kirkpatrick has strength, speed and the ability to play multiple positions.

“(She) was willing to contribute any way she could,” he said.

Kirkpatrick was one of two Tigers to sign recently with a D-II team. Senior Riley Miara will play for Fairmont State (W.Va.) next season.

Fairmont State coach Brandon Heembrock said Miara is a natural outside defender who will help in an area where the Fighting Falcons have struggled.

“The program is very young, only six years old, but we have had a very successful season,” Heembrock said. “The step from high school to college is a big one for any player, but we are confident Riley will make the transition smoothly and help us make another run at qualifying for the national tournament.”

The Fighting Falcons lost in the Mountain East Conference championship game.

Kelley said Miara, who scored two goals this season, was good at shutting down the other team’s attack.

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