IU Coach Amy Berabry knew freshman defender Meghan Scott was good, but she had no idea she would make an impact so quickly.
Originally from London, Ontario, Canada, Scott contributed immediately upon joining the Hoosiers in Bloomington this season. Not only did Scott start in her first-ever college match Aug. 19 against Louisville, she played all 110 minutes of IU’s season opening 1-1 draw.
Like many of IU’s 11 true freshmen, Scott credits upperclassmen with helping her adjust.
“Coming in as a freshman, you have no idea what to expect,” Scott said. “On game day, the seniors gave us little notes that pumped us up a little bit so we wouldn’t be nervous. But in the first game, you still don’t know what to expect, so you’re going to be very nervous.”
Nerves have not seemed to affect Scott’s play for the Hoosiers this season. Scott is one of only three freshmen to play in each of IU’s 12 games. Scott also started each of those 12 games as an outside back, a new position for her.
“I grew up playing center back, so when they put me at full back here I really had a lot of fun trying to learn how to attack more and how to get involved offensively,” Scott said.
Offensive production from Scott has been a pleasant surprise for the Hoosiers this season. Her three assists are the most of any player on the team, and as the designated set piece taker for IU, Scott takes corner kicks and free kicks on a regular basis.
Despite having to adjust to a new playing position and new offensive role, Scott’s started her collegiate career in nearly flawless fashion.
“I absolutely did not expect her to contribute this much at both ends of the field so early on. I would have told you that you were absolutely crazy,” Berbary said. “The kid has never played outside back in her life, so for her to step into that role has been great.”
There has been a direct correlation between Scott’s positive influence on offense and IU’s success on the scoreboard. IU has won each match Scott has recorded an assist in this season.
The most recent of these victories came Sunday in a 3-2 home game against Wisconsin. Scott provided the assist on IU’s first goal of the match when she delivered a cross from a corner that was headed into the net by freshman midfielder Allison Jorden.
“We can’t ask much more from Meghan,” Berbary said. “She is just putting us offensively in a position to be able to score goals and she has just been outstanding. You would never know that kid is a freshman.”
Scott’s presence gives the team the distinction of having three Canadian players on its roster. Senior defender Marissa Borschke and freshman midfielder Chandra Davidson are also from Ontario.
Davidson and Scott knew each other before coming to IU as they played for the same youth soccer club, the Burlington Bayhawks.
“At first, knowing someone from home made things easier,” Scott said. “Having that person that you could go talk to and help you adjust to the atmosphere and college in general.”
Moving to a new country has been a culture change for Scott, although the culture change was a major factor in her decision to become a Hoosier.
“In Canada, sports aren’t as big as academics,” Scott said. “Coming here and seeing the atmosphere and the fans and how serious sports are taken is what I wanted to come here for. It’s why I chose IU. It’s been great, I love it.”
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