Northern Star: Baamlak Haugen, Emilia McGiffert, Victoria Thorson
For this week's segment, we feature three former Duluth Marshall soccer standouts who are all in their first seasons together at UMD.
DULUTH, Minn. – Victoria Thorson, Baamlak Haugen and Emilia McGiffert have all been playing soccer together for as long as they can remember.
“Me, Emilia and Tori have been playing since we were little, we were playing on Gitch together and school soccer too and it’s been really fun. We’ve had chemistry,” Haugen said.
They then played together at Duluth Marshall where in 2018 they led the Hilltoppers to the state tournament.
“I was really sad when high school ended just because I knew I wouldn’t be able to play with them again but we’re really close,” Thorson said.
Now, they’re playing together again, this time for their hometown Bulldogs.
“It’s pretty crazy because usually you don’t hear about that or see that. I know growing up there’s usually once every so often but all three of us is pretty cool,” McGiffert said.
Thorson comes in as a transfer after spending a year at Augsburg.
“I figured out my major and I wanted to do speech pathology and I know UMD has a really good program and to do so I wouldn’t be able to do both sports and I wanted to play soccer at the highest level,” Thorson said.
So now all three are in their first seasons at UMD.
“It wasn’t like we were all planning on going here but in the end it all worked out and it’s awesome to have local kids because that means more fans and it’s really fun that our families will be able to see us play. I’m really excited I get another four years with them,” Thorson said.
“They’re so familiar with one another so that’s a comfort zone for them and that actually has made other players feel comfortable because they’re familiar with one another and just at ease and that makes other players that are new, that makes them at ease, too,” head coach Greg Cane added.
“We can just connect on the ball and play each other in. I know a few times we had a few good plays which was awesome and it makes you feel a little more comfortable on the field knowing how someone plays and they know how you play,” McGiffert said.
With not a ton of local talent on UMD over the past few years, these Hilltoppers turned Bulldogs are proud to represent their communities at the highest level.
“We’ve grown up here our lives and just to represent UMD and Duluth in general is really exciting,” Haugen said.
“When I was younger, I went to UMD games all the time. I did think about being in their positions and it was always super fun and it’s so cool that I get to be on the field and be a player now and play at home,” Thorson added.