By Steve Carpenter
Blue Dragon Sports Information Director
Over the first 14 years of women's soccer at Hutchinson Community College, there is a substantial list of Reno County players who have been major contributors to the ongoing success of the Blue Dragon program.
Hutch High's Jordan Downing and Jazmin Hartshorn, Buhler' s Stephanie Franz and Nickerson's Kristen Arneson headline that local group.
Addi White is ready to join the club.
The Blue Dragon sophomore forward, who played her high school ball at Buhler, led the 2019 Blue Dragons onto the practice field for the first time on Thursday as Hutchinson prepares for its August 22 season opener against Trinidad State at the Salthawk Sports Complex.
"Addi has the athleticism and the drive to do that," said head coach Sammy Lane, who began his 15th season with the Blue Dragons. "With Steph, Jazmin and Jordan, their sophomore years were the years that they really flourished. I really hope Addi flourishes this season."
White started in seven of 13 games played as a freshman, missing the final four games of the season with an injury. White finished the season with six goals and two assists last season as Hutchinson posted a 13-3-1 overall record, but was eliminated in the semifinals of the Region VI Tournament by Johnson County.
One of White's top moments of her freshman season came on October 10, 2019 against Hesston College. Playing on her home high school field in Buhler – the game moved to Buhler because of poor field conditions at the Salthawk Sports Complex. White had the game-winning goal in a 6-0 win over the Larks.
White, biggest single-game output was a two-goal game in an 11-0 win over North Iowa on September 1.
"I was able to use my speed to score goals and get a lot of chances last season," White said. "Losing in the Region VI Tournament was a heartbreaker. I'm excited for this year. We have a lot of good girls coming in. There is a lot of drive on this team and we want it."
White is also hoping to keep the Reno County legacy alive with a strong 2019 season.
"I am a local girl and it's been neat to see others from around here have success here," White said. "It's great to see a lot of familiar faces as our games. I'm excited about this season."
With that, White will be counted on as a goal scorer. Only 34 percent of Hutchinson's offense returns. In addition to White's six goals, sophomore Sydney Blackwell is the returning team leader with nine goals.
Asked to break down her game as to where she needs to improve going into her sophomore season, White said she must improve her first touch to be able to utilize her speed.
Lane would also like to see more composure in front of the goal for White to finish scoring chances.
"With the fact that she's a sophomore, that should come more naturally to her," Lane said. "She is very fast and she has a great work ethic to go with that speed."