Unger will continue soccer love affair at Georgetown

Published 11:23 pm Sunday, November 21, 2021


St. Joseph Lady Flyers’ senior soccer standout Laiken Unger signed a letter-of-intent with Georgetown College on Sunday. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, grandparents Pat and Lynn Patterson, brother Iszak, Laiken, mother Karen and father Joe, owner of Unger’s Shoes; standing left to right, Father David Huffman, travel coach Chris Murphy, and St. Joseph coaches Dan Blair and Katie Sutton. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Laiken Unger sent a Valentine’s Day card to her soccer ball.

The St. Joseph Lady Flyers’ senior soccer standout has had a lifelong love affair with the sport dating back to early years when she would play goalkeeper and her older brothers Joseph and Iszak would pepper her with shots on goal.

During her middle school and high school career, Unger has played volleyball and basketball besides soccer. While Laiken enjoys the other sports, she admits there is only one true love of her life when it comes to athletics.

“It’s always been soccer. I started when I was like three and I just fell in love with it. I started playing travel when I was eight and I haven’t quite playing travel,” said Unger.

“I’ve traveled now for 10 years and I’ve made some great friends. My coaches have been great and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Unger’s love affair with soccer will continue at the next level after signing a letter-of-intent on Sunday to play for the NAIA Georgetown College Lady Tigers.

Unger had several options along with Georgetown that included Marietta College, Cedarville University, the University of Rio Grande and numerous other schools.

Georgetown saw me play in a tournament in the spring, they had a beautiful campus and a a cute little town and the coaches seemed really interested in me and they gave me a good scholarship,” said Unger.

“The players were really nice and I knew a couple of the players who I played club with before and they were great to me and the coaches were nice. It was a good fit.”

The Lady Flyers put together four good seasons during Unger’s career that included a trip to the district finals in her junior year as they posted a 12-4-1 record which was even more impressive since the school had just 18 total that year.

St. Joseph was 11-7 this past season and reached the district semifinals. Unger credited her teammates not only for the team success but her own.

“Whenever we started in high school, we didn’t have many girls so I stepped up my freshman year. Honestly, it was a great opportunity for me because I was able to build my experience as a midfielder and gain experience every game,” said Unger.

“I know a lot of girls don’t start their freshman year, but I was able to. All of us have played together for a while so we’ve had the good chemistry. We all grew up playing soccer together and we all fit in together even when we were younger. We played well together. If I hadn’t had such a great team, I wouldn’t have been able to play all four years of high school.

“My teammates have been so encouraging and my mom for taking me to every soccer tournament, waking up at the crack dawn and taking me to those 7 a.m. tournament. My high school team has been so supportive and happy for me that I’m able to continue this.”

With high school soccer in the rearview mirror, Unger said a bigger challenge lies ahead at the next level.

But she is eager for the challenge.

“The coach said you should expect jayvee unless you’re an outstanding player as a freshman coming in,” said Unger. “

“But I chose Georgetown because I did have an opportunity there. I played in front of the coaches and they liked what they saw. I think I’ll have an opportunity to play there, maybe not my freshman year but my sophomore year.”

Unger plans to major in marketing and minor in sports management “so I can sell sports equipment.”