Girls Soccer: Smoky Hill’s Sam Howshar picks Bowling Green

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Smoky Hill senior Sam Howshar announced her verbal commitment to Bowling Green State University in Ohio on Sunday. The standout striker has 31 goals and 30 assists in three varsity seasons with the Buffaloes and joins teammates Sami Brooks (Western Illinois) and Brittney Lewis (Denver) as Division I commitments for the Buffs so far. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)
Smoky Hill senior Sam Howshar announced her verbal commitment to Bowling Green State University in Ohio on Sunday. The standout striker has 31 goals and 30 assists in three varsity seasons with the Buffaloes and joins teammates Sami Brooks (Western Illinois) and Brittney Lewis (Denver) as Division I commitments for the Buffs so far. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | One of the most prolific scorers to take the pitch in Aurora in recent years, Smoky Hill’s Sam Howshar, has picked where she’ll play her college soccer.

The senior striker — a three-time member of the Aurora Sentinel’s All-City Girls Soccer Team — announced her verbal commitment to Bowling Green State University on Sunday, as she made the difficult decision to go with the Ohio school over Pittsburgh and Idaho State.

Howshar joins teammates Sami Brooks (Western Illinois) and Brittney Lewis (University of Denver) as recent commitments for coach Wes Post’s Buffaloes ahead of the 2016 girls soccer season in the fall.

“I basically chose what I thought could develop me as a player and individual along with which program I felt I would have more fun and competition,” Howshar told the Sentinel. “Also what helped me decide was what program I could have an impact on right away, just like freshman year of high school, but more for college.”

Howshar indeed had an impact on Smoky Hill as a freshman in 2013, as she racked up 11 goals and 12 assists and helped the Buffaloes win the Centennial League championship. Despite battling hip injuries that have required multiple surgeries, Howshar — the 2014 co-Centennial League Player of the Year — has 31 goals and 30 assists in her three-year varsity career after back-to-back 10-goal, 9-assist campaigns as a sophomore and junior.

Bowling Green came into the 2015 season picked to finish fifth in the Mid-American Conference East standings in a preseason coaches poll, as the Falcons battle Buffalo, Miami, Kent State, Ohio and Akron in their division. The Falcons — a primarily young group who lose just two seniors at season’s end — currently sit at 2-2 two weeks into the season.

There is one Colorado player currently on the Bowling Green roster in Morgan Abbitt, a freshman out of Fort Collins’ Rocky Mountain High School.

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Smoky Hill junior defender Brittney Lewis, right, verbally committed to the University of Denver in February. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Howshar made her verbal commitment at the start of her senior year, while Brooks — another three-time All-City first teamer as a defender — gave her pledge to Western Illinois shortly after the conclusion of her junior year while Lewis, who is now a junior, committed to the University of Denver on Feb. 17, in the midst of her sophomore year.

Lewis, twice a defender on the All-City second team, took pride in being able to commit at just 15-year-old, but even so she’s been wanting to play at Denver for most of her life.

“I picked DU as the college for me because I fell in love with the campus and the coaching staff,” Lewis told the Sentinel. “I’ve been wanting to go to DU since I was 8 and it’s finally a dream come true that I am verbally committed there. I got an amazing offer, and it’s close to home, so it was a great choice.”

Lewis is part of a Colorado Storm club team that has every single member committed to Division I programs before the age of 17.

That Storm team includes one of Lewis’ future Denver teammates, Taylor Parker of Class 5A state champion Grandview, as well as another Wolves’ standout in Alabama-bound Nicole Lyubenko.

“I’m excited to play in the Summit League when I attend DU,” Lewis added.

This past summer, Lewis got the chance of a lifetime to witness the U.S. Women’s Soccer team drill Japan 5-2 in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship game.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel