In some cases, big packages come in small containers. Such is the case of one stalwart of the Washburn Lady Blues soccer team.
Stefanie Stuever, a sophomore midfielder for the Lady Blues, has pursued things always with determination and passion. One of the things that has been intertwined in her life has been soccer. Starting in kindergarten, Stuever began playing the sport as it started to develop into a passion for her. While other children play a variety of sports, she focused in on soccer as the one sport that she dedicated her time and efforts toward.
“It’s really the only thing I’ve played seriously,” said Stuever.
After deciding that soccer was something that she wanted to really dive into, she began playing for one of the club teams that was playing in her hometown of Lawrence. This additional playing time helped Stuever to hone her skills as a player and gave her an opportunity to compete to represent her country in a program called the Olympic Development Program.
During her stint in the ODP, Stuever’s performance brought her to the attention of one of the people there serving as a coach in the program, Tim Collins, who is also Washburn’s head soccer coach.
“I really noticed her and her sister who were the two best players at a training session for the [Olympic development program] I was coaching at,” said Collins.
Washburn became the logical choice for Stuever after Collins offered a scholarship to play soccer while at the same time offered her the chance to pursue the one other passion in her life, photography.
Apart from being a successful athlete, Stuever has also maintained an artistic side of her life that manifested itself through her early childhood with school activities.
“I was just very fortunate and blessed to have great art teachers early on that helped to give us a lot of different things like ceramics, jewelry and other kinds of stuff,” said Stuever.
Eventually Stuever fell into the medium of photographyand found that she enjoyed that particular aspect of art the most. Her passion for art will allow her to springboard into a semester abroad as she prepares in the near future to spend time in the Dominican Republic.
“I’ll be helping to plan art lessons for a Christian school in the Dominican Republic'” said Stuever. “With such a wide range of ages, it’ll be a fun challenge to get together a lesson plan.”
While in the Dominican Republic, she also plans on using her time to keep herself involved with the sport that has helped bring her far in life.
“The school I’ll be helping at has a soccer team so I’m hoping to get to kick the ball around a little to stay in shape,” said Stuever.
Staying in shape is not something new for her as her conditioning along with the rest of the team has proved useful in the physical play that they have faced so far this season.
“With her slight stature she has taken a beating this year but has really stood up well to the punishment, especially from the Texas schools we’ve played so far,” said Collins. “I think that her performance thus far this year really speaks volumes to her heart.”
With the season in full swing, Stuever said the rest of the season will continue upward for the Lady Blues.
“We are just looking at moving forward in the season, we have started slow the last couple of years and still come back to have a strong season,” said Stuever. “We are just looking to work hard and hold each other accountable while we work to get better.”