When Stine Schoening (pronounced "Steena") chose the University of North Carolina-Greensboro as her college choice, she was bucking a family trend. Twenty members of her family had attended the University of Washington, including her brother and cousin as student-athletes.
After one year at UNC-Greensboro, Schoening is coming home.
The formersoccer standout announced last month that she would be transferring to play for Lesle Gallimore’s program at UW.
“My coaches left at the end of my season and I just kind of figured it was too far away from home,” Schoening said. “I have a lot of family members who have gone to UW, so I have always been a Husky. It just seemed like the right move.”
The move was predicated by the fact that the coaching staff that had recruited Schoening to UNC-Greensboro had decided to accept a job at ACC-conference Clemson University following Schoening’s freshman season. Schoening checked out her options and visited other schools, but, in the end, her decision had already been made.
“I had my heart set on UW,” Schoening said. “I had other options, just kind of as a backup. I looked at Seattle U a little bit, thinking about places in Oregon, but I had my heart set on UW.”
Schoening is coming off a breakout freshman season in which she started 18 games as an outside back for a 19-win UNC-Greensboro team that advanced to the NCAA tournament. Despite her decision to transfer, Schoening said the experience of playing at UNC-Greensboro last season was invaluable in terms of her development.
“I wouldn’t change going to the east coast for anything,” Schoening said. “I think it gave me a lot of experience, both physically and mentally. I was able to play in an NCAA tournament game, which a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to and that’s just more experience and pressure that you put under your belt and all things that you can take with you.”
That experience was what appealed to UW head coach Gallimore. Gallimore was familiar with Schoening from her high school and club days, but did not pursue her heavily out of high school.
“She went on to a very, very good club team late in her high school career and she played well, but she wasn’t quite up to the playing speed and pace of the other players,” Gallimore said.
After following Schoening’s progress at UNC-Greensboro, Gallimore liked what she saw in Schoening’s development.
“She got a lot of great games in and had a really successful season,” Gallimore said. “So I think from a confidence stand point for her, I just really liked the experience she gained there and I thought that would be a great thing for us to get a player who has this great college year under her belt.”
Although Schoening will be joining a new team, the group already has an air of familiarity for her. Six of Schoening’s former club team Crossfire teammates play for Gallimore.
“I’ve always been really close with those girls,” Schoening said. “Just knowing that I’d be going to a team where I feel like I already know half the girls was a definite attraction.”
Her transfer choice was also influenced by factors outside of soccer. In the always fickle athletic realm, any athlete is one injury away from the end of a career. Schoening is aware of this fact and decided that her college choice had to extend beyond her comfort on the pitch.
The other attraction for Schoening was the proximity of her family. Schoening’s cousin, Jens Bracht, is a member of the UW golf team and her brother, Kohl, played soccer for UW from 2008-2009. Having her family close enough to support her in person was important to her…as was a certain age-old college student dietary concern.
“They’re definitely excited that I’m coming home, because they’ll be able to go to game,” Schoening said. “And maybe cook me some dinners.”