Former First Presbyterian Christian Academy stand out soccer player Brooke Standard just completed her first college soccer season for the Lady Pirates of Armstrong State University.
Standard was the Georgia Independent School Association Class AA All-State and All-Region player of the year last year and was instrumental in helping the FPCA girls win the 2013 state championship.
But as a freshman in college, Standard said there was a big learning curve.
“Compared to high school, college level soccer is highly competitive and there are no real weak players on the Armstrong team or on the opposing teams … all are very good. And on any given day, one team can beat the other,” she said. “Also it is a much faster and stronger pace of play than high school. Although I didn’t get as much play time as I would have liked, I learned a lot and am working very hard looking forward to next year.”
Standard played in 12 games her freshman year for 186 minutes. The Pirates ended the season 13-5. They were the fourth seed going into Nov. 14’s first round of the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship game where they lost to fifth seed Wingate, 1-0.
Standard said in addition to preparing her mindset for the season she also had to make a physical adjustment.
“The skill of all of the players, the pace, speed and transition of the game, the physical aspect being much more contact, all made me adjust accordingly, so I could match up at this level,” she said. “Also the physical conditioning was many, many times more demanding. I am in better condition than at any time in my soccer career. It has been a great experience and I am already excited about next year.”
Standard’s former FPCA teammate Kelsey Higgason is also a freshman player for the Lady Pirates. Before the start of the school year, however, Higgason had knee surgery and did not play this season.
“It was discouraging, knowing that I would not be playing this season. However, I know now after watching the drills and fitness tests I will have the advantage of working on those drills and coming out hopefully stronger than ever,” she said. “For those that are in high school and wanting to play college ball, my advice is to get serious. If you aren’t willing to work on your own on top of practice you will fall short.”
Higgason said Standard was one of the only freshmen to actually follow the summer workouts.
“So she did very well in the fitness workouts pre-season,” Higgason said. “Unfortunately she wasn’t given the game time I’m sure she would have preferred but I know that if she really wants it she’ll work that much harder for a better result.”
Higgason was also part of the 2013 championship Highlanders and finished her senior year at Long County High School, where she helped take the team to their first state playoff game. She was selected as the Region 2-AA offensive player of the year.