BOSTON -- After a dominant four-year career as a forward for the Miami Hurricanes, soccer star Kate Howarth has signed a professional contract with the Boston Breakers of the National Womens' Soccer League (NWSL) for the 2013 season.
"I always said I wanted to do as a kid," Howarth said of playing professionally. "Every kid says it, but to be able to actually go through the process, to have the opportunity to make it happen, it's wonderful. It's an opportunity, a privilege, and I'm excited to get started."
Howarth, a second-team All-ACC selection in 2011, finished her career with 21 goals and 50 points, both of which rank among the top 10 totals in program history.
"Kate epitomizes what I hope the University of Miami soccer program will be all about," head coach Tom Anagnost said. "Her character is very special because she has an extraordinarily high drive and determination. She combines that with a unique focus and intensity that she brings with her every single day. "
Howarth was named to the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Watch List prior to the 2013 season, where she tied for the team lead in goals across 17 games.
The Grand Blanc, Mich., native was reunited with her former high school coach Anagnost in Coral Gables prior to her junior season, when she burst onto the national scene with a 29-point campaign.
"When I coached her in high school she would arrive at 6 a.m. to get extra training in with me," Coach Anagnost said. "She had a devastating injury from which very few people could have recovered."
Howarth was selected to the NCAA Division I Southeast All-Region team after the season, in which she led the team with 11 goals and seven assists.
"That was one of the big reasons I decided to go to Miami, to be able to play in the ACC," she said. "We're playing against teams that are consistently winning national championships or going far in the tournament. Being able to play against the best players, it is obviously a great way to develop."
Competing in the Women's Premier Soccer League Elite, Howarth led the team and tied for third in the conference with nine goals with the New England Mutiny. It was there she was noticed by Breakers' head coach Lisa Cole, who invited Howarth to try out with the team in late March.
Howarth made the team after a successful tryout, and will open her first professional season with the Breakers Sunday night at home against the Washington Spirit.
"She is a role model for all the present and future Hurricanes at the University of Miami, and I am so proud and happy for her," Coach Anagnost said.
Howarth is excited to make her dreams become a reality.
"It all comes down to work ethic, and how much you want something and how determined you are to get it," she said. "Having the privilege to be able to play at Miami was a great step in the right direction."