Meg Hughes finished up her soccer career at Old Rochester last fall. She was a part of the strong Bulldog girls' basketball team that stalled out in the playoffs just before COVID-19 struck. She was crushed when she was unable to play in the postseason because she had torn her ACL, and was unsure how it would affect her first season at Providence College.

She was unable to get surgery until May because of COVID.

"I put a lot of hard work into trying to recover and trying to get back over the summer," she said.

As it turns out, if it weren't for COVID, Hughes would have missed her freshman season.  Instead, the Big East rescheduled fall sports until late winter/spring, giving her the extra time she needed to come back at 100 percent.

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How did Hughes respond to the second chance she was given to have a freshman season? No big deal. The freshman just went on to appear in all 12 Providence College women's soccer games, starting in four of those games.

Hughes led the Friars in points and assists and tied as the team leader for goals. She ended the regular season ranked in the top 10 in five different categories in the Big East.

During her one-on-one meeting with head coach Sam Lopes last week, he broke the news that she was named the Big East Freshman of the Year, only the second player in Providence College women's soccer history to earn the honor.

"There were a ton of other talented freshmen in the league in the running, including two of my own teammates that could have won it," Hughes said. "When I found out, I was really excited because I knew it was a really big award to get."

Hughes' goals for her fast-approaching sophomore season are totally team-oriented.

"We want to win the Big East," she said. "My coach always says 'It's we, not me.' You've got to think about the team before yourself."

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