Annie Steinlage has enjoyed tremendous individual success during her three seasons on the Michigan State University women's soccer team, earning first-team all-Big Ten Conference honors the past two seasons.
But Steinlage has long felt that something was missing, and with her senior season on the horizon, she decided to do something about it.
Steinlage has decided to transfer from MSU and will wrap up her collegiate soccer career at the University of Virginia next year.
"This was a huge decision for me for a lot of reasons," said Steinlage, a Grand Haven native who earned all-state honors, and countless other accolades, while playing soccer at Spring Lake High School. "There wasn't a specific negative experience or incident that made me leave. It was more that the program I was involved in wasn't really doing it for me as far as what I want to achieve as a player."
Once she decided to leave Michigan State, Steinlage had to receive a release from the school before she was able to make contacts with other schools.
"I had no idea what my options would be, where I might go," she said. "Once I got my release form, I had to turn in a list of schools in which I was interested. I listed 15 schools. I didn't know much about Virginia, but I knew they were a great soccer school.
"I went on the visit and really loved it," Steinlage said. "It's weird, because I never would have guessed that's where I would end up. I was thinking East Coast, West Coast, Florida, but I really loved it, not only the soccer program but the girls on the team, the campus, and the city."
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