Kristen Economopoulos Named USYS Player of the Month
By Chance McDermott, Editor-In-Chief OTS
The Lower Dauphin junior earned the honor after she played a key role in her '04 Penn FC Lightning team's national championship.
Hummelstown, PA - Big news out of the mid-state today as Kristen Economopoulos was given one of the sporting world's highest honors of being named the United States Youth Soccer National League Player of the Month for August.
In a phone call interview between her pre-calculus and Shakespearean literature classes, she said the reality still hadn't sunk in. "Some of my friends were 'sliding into my DMs' and congratulating me. I didn't even know about it being posted on the USYS Instagram account at first," said Kristen while high fiving everyone in the hallway. "It's definitely a good feeling to be recognized on a national level." She gives a lot of credit to her Penn FC and Lower Dauphin teammates for pushing her to be better. "My teammates are awesome." In her opinion, though, she believes it was her dad's willingness to spend time working with her and her sisters during the Covid quarantine period that really made the difference.
"A few years ago, I almost gave up soccer. I kind of lost the love of the game and wasn't sure I wanted to play because I didn't think I was good enough. My dad gave me some space and let me decide on my own if I wanted to continue. I made that decision about a year ago and came back as hungry as a hippo at an all you can eat buffet. When soccer season came around, I felt like I had improved a lot because of the work I did with my dad," she said.
Kristen Economopoulos shows why Penn FC's blue and white jerseys are the best around, in our opinion.
Kristen shows off her cell phone where she likes to "slide into some DMs", while receiving her national championship medal.
A rare white stag. Possibly the motivation for Kristen to be the best she can be.
Her dad, Steve, who goes by Chev, but only to one person, played soccer and baseball at Shippensburg University in the mid '90s. His prowess on the field and stunning good looks caught the eye of his high school sweetheart, Karen. Wait, wrong story. But his athletic background has translated into being a great coach and father to his four girls. His secret? "A friend of mine told me the legend of the white stag before a baseball game years ago." Steve has passed that message on to his girls and it seems to have struck a chord. Kristen agrees. "The white stag legend is a story all athletes should hear."
OverTime sports googled "White Stag Legend" and couldn't find anything concrete so it's probably a made up story. Regardless, it is a high honor for Kristen to be named USYS National League Player of the Month and is something that will motivate her even more as she takes the field to help her Lower Dauphin Falcons team chase a PIAA State Championship for 2021.
Whether or not they can achieve that goal remains to be seen, but a few things are certain. Kristen and her sisters are lucky to have such a great dad to help them learn the most beautiful game. And if you believe in the white stag, the white stag will believe in you.