Making a Difference: Baylor soccer’s King acclimating to college level

Freshman midfielder Sarah King takes a shot during against Oklahoma State during a Big 12 conference match Sept. 25 at Betty Lou Mays Field. Photo credit: Sarah Pyo

At 5-feet-11, freshman midfielder Sarah King stands above her teammates and the competition. King has earned the Big 12 Newcomer of the week award, is leading the Big 12 and is tied for third in the nation with nine assists in just her first season with the Bears.

“It’s insane that she’s a freshman doing the things that she’s doing.” – Junior midfielder Ashley York

“It’s tough to lead in any category in the country,” said head coach Paul Jobson. “It shows her ability to contribute, to get down the wing, and service balls in. Just to compete as a freshman is big time, but to be a statistical category leader in the NCAA is huge.”

The Bears have scored 27 goals this season and whether scoring or assisting, King has contributed, including two personal goals.

“I’m just proud of her, “Jobson said. “You got a player that is creating opportunities and getting assists, that means we are scoring goals. I’m just excited for her and what she’s been able to do for the team.”

King has played in all 12 games this season as a freshman, a rare feat as a freshman. King has totaled 874 minutes of play and is looking to continue making her impact this season.

“I started playing soccer at the age of three. It was something I was always drawn to.” – Freshman midfielder Sarah King

Soccer was not always King’s only sport. Growing up in Coppell, she was an avid soccer and basketball player. By her freshman year of high school she decided to follow her passion – soccer.

“I started playing soccer at the age of three. It was something I was always drawn to, something I liked,” King said. “My parents encouraged me to keep playing soccer as I grew up.”

King said her family always encouraged her to pursue soccer through the ups and downs. Because of this motivation and push, her hard work is paying off at the collegiate level, where King has become a breath of fresh air for the Bears.

“It has been a really good transition just because [the freshman] came in so strong and just darted into it.” – Freshman midfielder Sarah King

The transition from high school to a collegiate level of play has been smooth, King said.

“I feel like not even just for me, but for all the freshmen, it has been a really good transition just because we came in so strong and just darted into it,” King said. “The seniors made it really easy to acclimate from high school to college, and we have all been playing a good amount, which made it nice.”

King’s teammates have benefited from her production on the field, as well as her positive personality off the field.

“She has a great personality that is funny, and it helps us connect with the upperclassmen and our class together,” said freshman forward Amanda Hoglund. “Her always positive attitude helps the team focus more, and really play for each other.”

Freshman forward Jackie Crowther and junior midfielder Ashley York both consider King to be a dependable player for the Bears.

“Sarah is one of those people that even if there was pressure on her she would be fine with it.” – Freshman forward Amanda Hoglund

“She’s a great player, she’s hard-nosed and she goes at it every time,” Crowther said. “She’s not going to give up. She is going to go at it until she makes something out of it. She’s a good player to rely on for the whole team.”

“She makes things happen that you don’t even expect out of a veteran player,” York said. “It’s insane that she’s a freshman doing the things that she’s doing and I just know that she’s going to keep getting better and have a great career for us.”

Although King’s teammates praise her, King said it is because of the team that she has been able to make an impact so quickly.

“That wasn’t a specific goal that I had, but I mean it’s just a testament to how hard the team works,” King said. “You can’t get assists without goals, can’t do it without the rest of the team working hard.”

Each game presents different challenges, King said. Though she has been successful, King said she’s taking it one game at a time.

“It’s really exciting to get team awards and stuff, but you can’t read to much into that,” King said. “You have to keep your focus on the team and on the next game.”

“Sarah is one of those people that even if there was pressure on her she would be fine with it,” Hoglund said. “She’s very easygoing, very nonchalant, very selfless person. Even with all the pressure on her she’ll still be able to play her game no matter what.”

King could have gone anywhere she wanted to pursue soccer, but Baylor was home, King said. King explained more on what made her choose Baylor.

“Obviously looking for somewhere that has a good soccer team,” King said. “Also, I love the atmosphere down here and I love the academics. It’s one of the top academic schools. I guess it’s just the best of both worlds. That’s why I picked it.”

Although having made such a big impact in her teams game play already, King is known by her teammates for the positivity she brings on and off the field. While still learning and improving in her own life, King has time to keep making a difference.