Hoeing is healthy and helping team
Salisbury senior Olivia Hoeing faced a health scare last winter that forced her to miss the entire basketball season. She was able to return to club soccer for Parkland Area Soccer Club around March.
But now she’s back on the field wearing her true blue and white colors, leading the Lady Falcons to a stellar fall season on the pitch. She scored a goal and assisted on another in Salisbury’s 4-0 win over Palmerton over the weekend.
“I was hospitalized with a really low heart rate, so I was in there,” Hoeing said. “It took me a good couple of months to strengthen my heart again and get back on the field. But I wanted to get back to soccer, because soccer is my real passion.”
The issue came out of the blue.
“It was sudden,” Hoeing said. “It was just that winter. I went to a doctor appointment and they noticed my low heart rate.”
After months of rehab, and watching the Salisbury basketball team from the bench last winter, Hoeing was back to normal. Girls soccer head coach Rick Babyak said she’s even better and stronger than ever.
And she’s showing it on the field. She punched in Salisbury’s third goal just two minutes into the second half that put the Lady Falcons (9-3 overall; 6-1 in Colonial League) in front, 3-0. She then set up sophomore forward Aaliyah M’Bai for the final goal with 15:12 left on the clock.
“It was a little scary, but I knew that I really wanted to come back,” Hoeing said. “So that was my main goal. It was the goal to get back for soccer season.”
“She had some things to deal with, but she’s come through it nicely,” Babyak said. “She’s better. She’s stronger. She is physically stronger, mentally stronger, and she’s just a good kid. She’s our big engine and it’s great to have her.”
Hoeing’s position might be the most important on the field. As a defensive center midfielder, she’s tasked with getting back on the back end to help stop the opposition’s scoring chances. And she’s also a vital part of the Lady Falcons’ plans on offense.
“A defensive center midfield is really a box to box player,” Babyak said. “They are supposed to get back on defense, and then they get up to support on offense. And she has the big engine that she can handle that. I would like to put a tracker on her. I bet she puts on five to seven miles out there.”
Not only is she running around nonstop, Hoeing one of Salisbury’s more vocal leaders. She helps the younger group of Lady Falcons adjust to the varsity level of competition, which includes sophomore forward Quinn Wittman, who scored the game’s first two goals that put Salisbury ahead early against Palmerton.
“I think we’re doing real well,” Hoeing said. “We have a really good team dynamic. We just have good cohesion on the field. I feel we lift each other up and have a lot of energy. I really believe a lot in team chemistry, so that comes onto field. We’re always helping each other up and always talking positively to each other.”