Anastasia Whitehouse will play soccer at Armstrong Atlantic State University after the Lakeside High senior accepted a scholarship Wednesday to play at the NCAA Division II school in Savannah, Ga.
“I wanted a small school, smaller classes,” said Whitehouse, who plans to study journalism. “I love Savannah; all that culture.”
Whitehouse, 17, will be spending much of her time doing what she’s done since she was a young child, playing soccer. She’s played midfielder and defense for the Panthers since her freshman year.
“She’s hard-nosed,” Lakeside girls soccer coach Nick Edmond said. “She gets after it.”
“She’s a good player on the ball,” he said. “She’s probably one of the best in the air. ... Last year, she scored at least four goals off headers.”
Whitehouse started playing at the Family Y and with Augusta Arsenal.
She also played two seasons with the Olympic Development Program, where her team earned a medal at last year’s national championships.
Between Whitehouse’s wild, curly red hair and her tough play, she’s earned a little notoriety.
“I have a reputation; just being really physical,” said Whitehouse, who some teammates affectionately call ‘Beast.’ “It’s a compliment.”
Whitehouse said she enjoys playing midfield most, but understands that she’ll likely spend much of her senior season playing defense to help fill the shoes of the senior defensive players who will graduate this year.
But Edmond said he also expects her to be a leader for a young squad.
“We have a lot of strong freshman coming in and I have faith in them,” Whitehouse said.
“Even though they have a lot to learn, I feel like I can be that good leader out there.”