When Ian Stone first recruited Katie Haas in 2006, he knew that she was going to be a special player. He just didn’t know how complicated her path to soccer stardom would be.
“I [thought] she had a really good future and she’s a strong and athletic girl,” said the Red Storm women’s soccer coach. “She was [a] different player then most freshmen. She’s known for scoring goals and was more of a midfielder before she came to St. John’s. I saw her as a more of a natural forward.”
Haas did not disappoint after she had a great start to her rookie season. In the second game of the season, she scored the game-winning goal against St. Joseph’s and was later named Big East Rookie of the Week.
Everything was at a high point for Haas until three games later, she tore her ACL and was forced to miss the rest of the season. To rehab, Haas, now a senior, said she went through a rigorous program that was very demanding.
“It was hard because I was putting in a normal day of classes, practices, and then I would have to go put in a couple extra hours of rehabbing,” she said. “I had a great support system, the trainers, my coaches, and my teammates were a great support system.”
Haas recovered and played the first seven games of her sophomore season. But her season was cut short again when she collided with a teammate and re-tore her ACL during practice.
“It was frustrating because when you finally get to a point where you’re healthy and then you have to go through everything again,” she said. “There were times that I felt like just giving up because it’s so hard to go through rehab, not once, but twice.”
Stone said it was crushing to see Haas suffer another injury.”It’s heartbreaking understanding what somebody has to go through to rehab,” Stone said. “She never complained and just went through it.”
Last year, Haas played her first full season with the team and appeared in 12 games, the same amount of her previous two years combined.
But this season has been a remarkable one for Haas. The senior forward/midfielder has played in fifteen games, starting one, and leads the No. 18 Red Storm in scoring, with four goals. She also was named the BigAppleSoccer.com Player of the Week for the week of September 23rd.
“This season has meant a lot to me,” Haas said. “It’s great to be back on the field and being able to contribute to the team again.”
Stone said Haas’ past obstacles have made her a stronger player and person.
“She’s playing harder than she ever has before,” he said. “Just to come back and be as confident as she was is a credit to her.” Stone said he also feels Haas’ story is an inspiration to all athletes.
“In college sports, athletes are going to go through injuries and it’s all about the way they come back from it,” he said. “The types of injuries that Katie went through have sidelined many players. The way she’s come back from her injuries is a great example for other athletes.”