Former Evansville Reitz Soccer Star Named Big Ten Freshman of the Week
From the moment Naomi Splittorff stepped on the soccer field as a freshman at Reitz High School, it was obvious to everyone just how special of a player she was. She continued to work hard, getting better and more dominant each year. By her senior year, no one was surprised to hear that several colleges were recruiting her. When it was all said and done, Naomi decided to continue her soccer career in West Lafayette, at Purdue University. We all knew she would go on to do great things as a Boilermaker, but I don't think any of us expected her to make an impact this quickly - in her very first game of the season.
On August 18, during the season opener, Naomi made the most of her time on the pitch by leading the Boilermakers to an upset win over No. 15 USC by scoring the game-winning goal. That performance, followed by a solid showing in her second game, led the Big Ten to name Naomi the Freshman of the Week.
Naomi is one of my daughter's very best friends, and our families have become close over the years, so I just had to reach out and see what she had to say about this exciting announcement.
I asked Naomi how she learned she was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week:
“I was walking into my last lecture of the day and I just gasped. I thought, ‘there is no way.’ I sent it to my family, and my mom called me and she was crying, saying ‘I’m so proud of you' and things like that, so I liked finding out when everyone else did.”
Next, I asked what being named Big Ten Freshman of the Week means to her:
“It means a lot to me and it gives me a lot more confidence that I didn't really have going into the preseason, just because it can be a little intimidating being a freshman. But, this helped me know that I do belong here and I do have those abilities.”
It's hard to start the season much better than this, so I asked Naomi about the rest of the season:
“This makes me want to work even harder because I know that awards will come as I just keep working. I didn't go into the season thinking of awards, but I know that this is just motivation to keep working, and keep playing as a team. If we keep doing that then all of us will get some sort of award.”
And what about Purdue soccer Coach Drew Roff - what does he think about Naomi?
“Naomi is a very dynamic attacking player who has a tremendous work rate, and she's come in and made an impact early on. To score a goal in your first college game is something that you don't see very often, so it's a great way to open her goal-scoring account. She's a young player with tremendous upside that’s just getting started in our program, but she has a very bright future.”
I can tell you that Naomi is just as special OFF the field as she is on it, and I have a feeling this is just the first of many articles to be written about her in the coming years. Visit PurdueSports.com to see more stories about Naomi and the Purdue soccer team this season.