To the pitch at night: Jimmies’ Langseth returns to form in senior season
Hannah Langseth knew taking a year off from soccer would not be easy.
While it took a little time to regain her deft touch, it’s back now and at the perfect time for the University of Jamestown.
“It’s definitely showed on my numbers. You lose some of that technical skill, speed and endurance,” the Fargo native said. “I knew it’d have an effect, but I feel like I’m getting back in the swing of things. It hindered me for a while, but I’m trying to push as hard as I can.”
Despite struggling to find her groove, Langseth’s numbers hardly show it.
She’s played in 17 of the Jimmies’ 18 games and has a team-best 10 goals heading into the Unaffiliated Conference tournament. The Jimmies open the single-elimination tournament on Thursday against Great Falls (Mont.) in Billings.
Langseth will finish her career as the top striker in program history. She’s scored a goal in 60 percent of the game’s she’s played, totaling 44 goals and a whopping 107 points in her stellar career.
“It was never about the numbers. I love the game. I love to play. I love to be part of the team,” she said. “My parents knew the numbers a lot better than I did.”
Still, surpassing the 100-point plateau was gratifying.
“It was definitely a milestone that I felt good about. I guess it means I’ve played a lot and had some success, but I’ve also had a lot of teammates that helped me get there,” she said. “I’m really thankful for everything that’s happened.”
After three standout seasons from 2009-2011, Langseth took last year off to concentrate on academics, and as a nursing major, it was for good reason.
“Your junior year in nursing they ask a lot of you and I didn’t want to be in a situation where I wasn’t giving my all,” Langseth said. “It was hard not to play, but I look now how it’s worked out in being able to come back and play my senior year and it’s ended up working out pretty well.”
Jimmie coach Nick Becker said adding a player of Langseth’s quality is always a good thing.
“It’s tough to take that year off because you lose some of that technical ability and you lose fitness, but give her credit for working through that and making the effort,” Becker said. “When you have a player like Hannah out there it definitely makes you a better team.”
With 10 goals this season, Langseth has had double figures in three out of her four seasons, including 15 in 2010. She also had 12 assists that year for 42 points. The wins were slow to follow, though, which has made this year especially enjoyable.
“They got to regionals last year and then for us to do it again this year has really been a lot of fun,” Langseth said. “The program has come a long way and it’s been fun to be a part of it along the way.”
The presence of the former Fargo Oak Grove/Fargo Shanley prep star has made a difference.
“Hannah’s one of those girls that gets it,” Becker said. “Even though she’s not a team captain, she knows the girls look up to her. She’s accomplished a lot and kids tend to follow those types of players and she’s very good in that regard.”
While her playing days may be ending, don’t expect her to stay away from the game for long, if at all.
“I’m not ready for soccer to be out of my life. I definitely want to stay involved in some capacity,” she said. “Some day when I have kids, I’ll have them out there playing for sure.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com