Senior Spotlight - Meghann Principe

Meghann Principe patrols the defensive backfield.
Meghann Principe patrols the defensive backfield.

Hazleton, Pa. - Meghann Principe from Lake Harmony, Pa. wrapped up her athletic career with Penn State Hazleton's women's soccer program in the fall after four successful years marshalling the defensive backfield as the center back for the Nittany Lions. Part of group of six student-athletes who have been with the team since its inaugural season in 2016, Principe helped grow the program into a contender that made it to two straight Penn State University Athletic Conference championship game appearances in 2018 and 2019. She's been the face of the defense over the past two season, shutting down opponents for 12 shut out wins over that stretch and in 2019 the senior got some much deserved recognition, earning a first team selection to the PSUAC's All-Conference while being named a second team All-American by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.

Meghann's success extends well past the soccer pitch. She's been a member of the Penn State Hazleton honors programs since her freshman year and went on to make four PSUAC Academic All-Conference teams and two USCAA All-Academic teams, an award reserved for student-athletes garnering a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Outside the classroom, Principe became involved with Hazleton THON as a freshman and earned the distinction as the family relations chair during this year's fundraising campaign. She would go on to be selected as one of Hazleton's three dancers for THON 2020 and get the unique opportunity to share that experience with her sister and teammate, Camille Principe.

Principe will graduate this spring with a degree in Letters, Arts and Sciences and will be attending Duquesne Law School in the fall of 2020. Meghann will be part of the class of 2023 at the Pittsburgh law school and eventually plans to enter a field where she can make a positive impact on civil rights.

We tracked down Meghann earlier in the week for some not-so rapid fire questions in a segment we call: Not-so Rapid Fire with Meghann Principe.

What are you up to now during the quarantine?

Lots of eating, sleeping and usually bothering and fighting with my siblings. I go on walks with Camille for her fitness walking class.

I'm currently re-watching One Tree Hill and Parks and Recreation, but I'm also binging on Rick and Morty, You (Netflix) and Law and Order SVU.

What impact did athletics have on your experience as a college student?

I made a lot of life-long friends being a student-athlete. Certainly with my teammates and the guys on men's team but also with players on a lot of other teams. I wasn't sure about playing when I came to school but after meeting everyone with the team and the athletics department, I found the environment to be great. It allowed me to re-invest in the sport and I'm happy I did that. Definitely going to miss it!

If you could have played any other sport, what would it be and why?

I'm really bad at it, but I would have like to have been able to play volleyball. I loved going to their games and thought they always had such great energy when they played.

What has been your favorite memory while participating in athletics at your campus?

It was so rewarding to be a part of the first women's soccer team and seeing that through. We worked so hard over the years so being able to make the championship in our senior year and actually taking the lead against Brandywine at one point really means a lot because we came such a long way in a short period of time.

What teammate of yours is the best to follow on social media?

Kasey Jackson is probably my favorite to follow on Twitter because she has a great sense of humor but I also enjoy Kelsie Salem's Instagram page….It's very aesthetically pleasing.

What was your favorite class you took while attending Penn State Hazleton?

Women and Justice Class with Professor Pamela Black was great. It was very much a group discussion-based course and it was interesting to hear everyone's different perspectives of issues of the day. Psychology in a Sustainable World was also one of my favorites with Dr. Peter Crabb. It really opened my eyes about a lot of societal issues and made me think about changes I can make in my life.

Are there teammates, coaches or family members you would like to thank for having a positive impact on your playing career?

I want to thank my family for their support and pushing me to be better. Thanks to coach Jesse Shadle for getting the program off the ground and creating a great atmosphere and to Coach Wyllie for being really encouraging and positive. Shout out to the back line of Kelsie Salem and Camille for solidifying the defense and making it so much fun….and destroying it.

What advice do you have for younger teammates or recruits looking to play soccer at Penn State Hazleton?

Value every moment. It goes by extremely fast so make great friends while you're doing it….oh and beat Brandywine.