Today: Jun 17, 2024

Netherlands native competes for the Owls

Avery Martin – Contributor

Britt Verstegen was one of six senior women’s soccer players honored on the Oct. 7 senior night.  

Verstegen plays defense for the Owls. She is a graduate student majoring in exercise science and hails from Ede, Netherlands. She says she decided to play soccer in the United States so that she could also continue her schooling. “I wanted to play soccer at a high level and still get my education. It wasn’t really an option at home,” said Verstegen. 

Prior to playing for the Owls, while completing her master’s degree, Verstegen played at Young Harris College, where she received the Division II ADA Academic Achievement Award. She was also named the YHC Roaries Comeback Player of the Year.  

Verstegen chose to pursue her master’s at Southern not merely because of the good exercise science program. “The NE10 is, as a conference, really good, so I was able to play soccer for two more years. It’s very competitive and a good school,” said Verstegen. 

In her two years here, Verstegen has contributed substantially to the team. On Oct. 12 last year, she scored a goal in the second half to give the Owl’s a 2-2 tie with Southern New Hampshire University. Team Captain Amanda Dustin, a graduate student who plays back, says that game was one of the highlights of her teammate Verstegen’s time with the Owls thus far. 

“Last year, she was starting and playing every game. She ended up scoring one of the goals that caused us to come back and tie Southern New Hampshire, which was a big game. We were losing 2-0, and she scored off a corner which helped us get the tie,” said Dustin. 

Head Coach Adam Cohen is full of praise for Verstegen. “She is one of the bravest and most hard-working people I know,” said Cohen. “She has faced a lot of challenges, but she is doing great.” 

Dustin was also quick to speak highly of Verstegen. “She doesn’t really say much, but she has a really good sense of humor. You can tell that with the things she says, she gets everyone laughing. She is always in a good mood, and she is great to be around,”. 

Both Cohen and Dustin describe Verstegen as a funny and hard-working player. They also say she is a reliable center-back and is a great player to have on the team.  

“On the field, she understands the game really well. She knows what to do as a center-back. She has been there now for a while. I played next to her last year, and she is just a great person to have out there,” said Dustin. 

Cohen also makes clear that Verstegen is hard-working off the field as well. He praised her ability to prioritize her academic pursuits. Cohen said, “She’s developed a lot of connections at Southern outside of athletics.” 

Both Verstegen and Dustin asserted their goals for the remainder of the season. “I am hoping to get into the NE10 tournament. We want to get far in the post-season and even reach the NCAA tournament,” said Verstegen. 

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