Former Forman School star Lindsey Watkins finishing strong for Huskies.
Former Forman School star Lyndsey Watkins and the UConn women's soccer team play a second round NCAA Tournament game Friday night versus Penn State on the road.
STORRS: Finding local kids from the Litchfield Hills area on some of the top Division One programs in the country is not easy to do.
We just don’t send that many out to the top schools on a regular basis, but one Litchfield resident and former Forman School star is wrapping up her four-year career in true style.
Lindsey Watkins is having a fall season to remember as a member of the University of Connecticut women’s soccer team, a team that will be playing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday when they travel to take on #8 Penn State.
Watkins, who had not seen a great deal of playing time the past two seasons, started on Senior Night and has been a driving force behind the Huskies run to the post season.
UConn beat UCF by a 1-0 score that night and have now posted a 5-0-1 mark since.
“This run has been very exciting,” Watkins said. “Especially for my senior year.”
Before she arrived in Storrs, Watkins made her mark at Forman and still hold the record for career goals with 97 in three years. She netted 44 in one season alone and was named All-State in her senior year.
She was named her team’s MVP during her sophomore, junior and senior years at Forman as well.
“Lindsey helped make the program here so much better by the time she left,” McCarty said. “She made the other players raise their game and in the process, raised the program up.”
Her work has not gone unnoticed by her head coach in Storrs, Len Tsantiris who has noticed what she brings to the team.
“She is one of the best kids that we have,” Tsantiris said, “She never complains and works as hard as she can.”
Watkins scored the game winning goal in the Huskies regular season finale against Temple which clinched a home playoff game.
“It was awesome and a great win for us,” Watkins said.
UConn met up with UCF again in the American Athletic Conference semi-finals and Watkins posted an assist in the 1-0 win.
The Huskies received an automatic bid in the NCAA’s when they won the AAC Tournament with a win over USF in the finals, a match decided by penalty kicks (3-2).
UConn lost to Penn State back in late August by a 3-1 score in Pennsylvania but has been a team on a roll of late and Watkins has been a big part of the reason.
Watkins is a very bright student and has always been, she was named to the AAC All-Academic team during her junior season.
She learned how to juggle the sports and books at a very early age.
“Lindsey used to do her homework in back of her parents car on the way to practice in New York a couple times a week,” McCarty said. “It’s close to a two hour trip each way. It takes tremendous dedication.”
“I learned so much during my time at Forman,” Watkins said. “I learned about structure and balance, something that has helped me during my years here.”
Her reward for being a dedicated, hard-working teammate at the Division I level was playing time, if the coaches could see just where she could help them the most.
“We had to find a position for her,” Tsantiris said. “We decided to use her up front on a wing. She is feisty, she fights. She’s doing great. She see’s people on the field.”
So as the Huskies prepare to head back to Pa. to take on Penn State with hopes of moving on, a local player will be a key part of the chemistry which to date has simply been superb.