Heydari Makes a Statement

Mississippi State freshman soccer sensation Honeye Heydari has already left a big impression on players, coaches, and fans alike due to her play in MSU's first seven games. Last week's SEC Freshman of the week talks to GenesPage.com about who she is and what she hopes to accomplish at Mississippi State.

With a name like Honeye Heydari the newcomer automatically stands out for more than just her skills on the soccer field.

"I am Persian; my parents are Iranian," said Heydari. "They wanted to name me in a way that was Persian and American so they thought of Honeye."

In high school she was approached by a wide variety of colleges who wanted her talents on their squad.

"I had a lot of smaller schools and a couple of SEC schools but this one (Mississippi State) is the one where I felt the most at home," said the talented newcomer. "When I came for my official visit that is when I knew."

When talking about what attracted her to Mississippi State, she said, "I really liked the coaching staff, the school, the atmosphere, and the people here."

A record setter in high school, Honeye has had to adjust to the differences in the college game.

"It is difficult," she said. "It's a huge transition at this level, and everybody is good. It is really hard to stand out."

However, she has found many ways to stand out and even above the competition. Heydari has recorded five goals and four assists in only seven games, with 50 percent of her shots being on goal.

When asked if she was surprised by all of her success, Honeye said, "My goal coming in was to just make a difference as a freshman and do my best. I wanted to come in and try to make a change. I didn't want to let anyone down especially the upperclassman."

Heydari speaks highly of the leadership on this team.

"They are so experienced, so when we (freshmen) come in they help a lot," she said. "They have made such a huge impact on me; they motivate me all the time. I wouldn't be doing so well in my seven games without them."

Although she has already tabbed a few early season honors and made a name for herself in Mississippi State soccer, Heydari is not letting up.

"I'm still getting there; I'm not even there yet," she said. "I still have work to do."

A major in Biological Sciences, Heydari hopes to focus on nursing after her career at Mississippi State.

Mississippi State, now 7-0 on the season, begins SEC play this weekend, and Heydari recognizes the challenge ahead.

"We can't step off the pedal, we have still got to keep going," she said. "It is a huge change of pace; SEC teams are quicker and more physical."

Carew Ferguson is a feature writer for GenesPage.com. He can be reached by email at carewferguson@att.net.

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