It was June 2015 — one year prior to her graduation from Pittston Area — when Maddy Mimnaugh officially committed to Bloomsburg University to continue her track and soccer careers.
Mimnaugh has appeared in six soccer games for the Huskies. In those games, Bloomsburg is 3-2-1 with wins over Millersville, Chestnut Hill and California, Pa. She has yet to record an assist or a goal, but has two shots this season.
Last season, the Huskies finished 11-7-1 and qualified for the Pennsylvania State Athetic Conference tournament for the first time since 2011.
“(The transition) was tough at first because I wasn’t used to this kind of intense training,” she said. “It’s going very well and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
The freshman was known for her speed during her career at Pittston Area. More often than not, Mimnaugh was the fastest player on the pitch, and on the track. At the college level, she said everyone is on an even playing field and she is no longer the fastest.
She moved from her forward position at Pittston Area to playing a wing for the Huskies. She said that has taken a little weight off her shoulders. Outside of the speed from opposing teams, Mimnaugh said she’s always fighting for playing time.
“The way these girls play, it’s a lot faster,” she said. “Now, everyone is as fast as me.”
Her mindset when she hits the field has changed from high school. Instead of being the go-to scorer — she had 19 goals and nine assists in her senior season for the Patriots — Mimnaugh is now part of a cohesive unit that passes the ball often. She said she’ll have to work on her ball touches and seeing the field to improve at the college level.
Teaming up with Barber
Allie Barber graduated from Pittston Area in 2015 as the school’s all-time leader in goals scored and District 2’s leader in goal scoring. Her 159 career varsity make her one of the most decorated girls soccer players in the state. She’s now a sophomore leader for the Huskies.
Last year, Barber, as a freshman, led the Huskies in goals, assists and points. Together, Barber and Mimnaugh helped Pittston Area win its first Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athetic Association District 2 title in 2014. Now, the two are back together on the field. In 10 games this season, Barber has scored two goals and added three assists.
“It’s great to have someone here I’ve been playing with for a long time,” Mimnaugh said. “She’s always been a great friend and I love playing with Allie.”
It was Barber who put Mimnaugh on the fast track to Bloomsburg. When Mimnaugh was looking at schools, she wanted to go Division 1 for track. After she decided she wanted to play soccer, she reached out to Barber and the rest is history.
All set for spring
At Pittston Area, Mimnaugh holds school records in the 400, 800, and 1,600, and as a member of the 4×800 and 4×400 teams. In 2014, Mimnaugh was part of the Pittston Area team that claimed its first district track and field title since 1988.
Mimnaugh holds the district record in the 400. And once soccer season is over, Mimnaugh will get to work for the track season. She said she might be running the 400, 800 and a leg of the 4×400.
“I’m very excited for track season to start, and I want to make an impression my first year,” she said.
Mimnaugh is the daughter of Lisa and Dan Mimnaugh, Pittston. Her younger sister, Grace, is a player on this year’s Pittston Area girls soccer team. One of the hardest things the elder Mimnaugh has had to do is to move on without her younger sister.
The Bloom freshman said she misses the overall atmosphere at Pittston Area, along with the staff. Her little sister, however, is mostly on her mind.
“I really miss playing with (Grace),” she said. “Of course I miss the success we had but I’m going to try and make my mark.”
Mimnaugh’s family attends as many games as possible, which means a lot, she said.
“It gives me more confidence when I see my family down here,” she said. “It’s a great feeling having them here.”
Mimnaugh is currently undecided in regards to her studies at Bloomsburg.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick