Hannah Kengerski's dream growing up was to play soccer in college. But coming from Greene County, a place not known as a soccer hotbed, made her wonder if that dream would ever become reality.
"It was a little rough. I'm not going to lie. It was a little rough," Kengerski explained. "I mean it definitely crosses your mind because it's like 'Ok, small town, nobody knows where I'm at. How am I going to get exposed?'"
She decided to make a year-round commitment to soccer, playing at both William Monroe and with a traveling SOCA team from Charlottesville. That move paid off, as this spring she made history, becoming the first at Monroe to sign with a college program when she signed with Slippery Rock, a Division II school just outside of Pittsburgh.
"I've always looked up to all the college players and been like, 'I want to be that person.' So I guess it's kind of like a dream come true," she said.
"She made it clear she wanted to go play for a college after her high school career and she took all the steps she needed to do it. She played year-round, focused on one sport," Monroe coach John Burks added.
A native of Pittsburgh, Kengerski moved to Greene County with her family when she was six. Slippery Rock wasn't originally on her radar until her mother convinced her to give it a look.
"At first I was like 'No, not at all,'" she said of going to Slippery Rock. "But my mom was like 'Just give it a chance and go look'. I'm glad I did."
Kengerski's opportunity opens the door for some of her William Monroe teammates, who also hope to play at the next level someday.
"A lot of the younger players look up to Hannah with her tremendous work effort and it's sort of made them realize 'Hey, we can do this too,'" Burks explained.
"I think it's a really cool thing she's doing and that she made it this far and I would love to follow in her footsteps to get to that place as well," Monroe sophomore Juliet Karnes added.
Although she's the first to go to the college fields from Monroe, Kengerski's hope is that others will make their own way as well.
"I really hope everyone's like 'Ok, she did it, so my daughter can do it, or my son can do it.' It's so possible for everybody if they want it. You just have to want it."