By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
You could say that Mariah House has been around soccer all her life.
She started playing when she was three years old, and when she wasn’t playing, she was still at the soccer field watching her older brother, Josh, and sister, Jaimee, play for South Laurel.
“We are a big soccer family,” House said.
As she progressed through youth leagues, middle school, travel teams and high school, she always dreamed about being able to play in college. Her dream came true Wednesday when she signed with St. Catharine College, but it almost didn’t happen.
“It was a last minute decision,” House said, noting that, while it was her dream to play in college, she wasn’t sure if she was going to. “But as it was getting closer to the end of my club season, I realized I would miss not playing.”
St. Catharine coach Paul Patton is thrilled that she decided to sign with his team.
“We are excited to have her sign with us,” Patton said. “She’s a solid player who can play several different positions. She has a really good soccer mind and she is a good fit for us.”
House had planned on attending Morehead State but not playing soccer. “When she found out we had the program she was interested in going into (medical imaging), I think that’s what sealed it for us,” Patton said.
House said she will have to work on the small things, like ball control, in order to be successful in college. She feels her knowledge of the game is one of her strengths.
“That’s my biggest strength, playing smart,” House said. “That and leadership. Leadership was a strong point in high school.”
Growing up and watching two older siblings play helped make House the soccer player she is today. She said one thing she learned from her sister, Jaimee, is how to be, as she put it, mean.
“She was a more aggressive player, while I rely on my knowledge,” House said. “She taught me how to be aggressive.”
Mariah has a great attitude, very positive, plus she’s a great student,” Patton said. “With her we get the whole package. She will have to learn how to adjust to the speed of the college game and work on her lateral quickness. At larger colleges playing a sport is like having a job. Here she can concentrate on both her academics and athletics.”