Program: Associate in Science
GODFREY – Soccer has always been a part of Nicole Howard’s life.
The Lewis and Clark Community College sophomore began playing soccer when she was about 5 years old. She and her brother, Jason, both grew up on the soccer field and played for Rolla Senior High School, in Rolla, Missouri, where their father, Mike Howard, was their coach.
“The highlight of my soccer career so far was getting my dad his 600th and 700th wins when I was in high school,” she said. “My dad has taught me a lot of what I know about soccer and has helped me reached my goals to get me where I am today.”
This season, Howard, a forward for the Trailblazers, has brought in numerous awards and honors, including National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 24 Player of the Year, First Team All-Region, NJCAA Division I First Team All-American, National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) First Team All-Region for the Central Region, NSCAA First Team All-American and NSCAA Player of the Year. She also led the NJCAA Division I in goals and points this year. Howard was an NSCAA First Team All-American in 2014.
“I feel really excited that I led in goals and points this season, but I wouldn’t even have come close to half my goals without my team,” she said. “They do everything that leads up to my goals, which makes them the whole reason I lead the nation.”
Even more impressive, Howard fought compartment syndrome this season. In her case, the pressure and swelling in her muscles was concentrated in her calves and caused irritation and discomfort on the field. Howard underwent surgery at the beginning of December to correct the problem.
“Nicole had an outstanding year,” said L&C Head Soccer Coach Tim Rooney. “She was the best player this year I’ve seen. For her to play with compartment syndrome and perform the way she did shows her toughness.”
Howard plans to transfer to a four-year university in Fall 2016, but will remember her experience at L&C fondly.
“Every time I get to step on the field with my team I add on to some of my favorite memories,” Howard said.
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