HARRISBURG, Pa. - Zack Haussler, Class of 2018, has signed a contract to play professional soccer for the Harrisburg Heat. Haussler made the squad after impressing coaches at camp and is on the 2018-19 roster. The Heat compete in the Eastern Division of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL).
"I'm incredibly proud of Zack and his accomplishment," said St. Mary's head men's soccer coach, Alun Oliver '04. "He was a massive part of our program for four years and became one of the best goalkeepers in program history. I wish him all the best with his professional career."
Haussler, a native of Woodbine, Maryland, left his mark as one of the best goalkeepers in St. Mary's men's soccer history. The 6-0 goalkeeper recorded 292 saves, 36 wins, and an 80% save percentage during his four-year career.
Haussler credits much of his success on the field to the SMCM men's soccer program and Coach Oliver. "The SMCM men's soccer program and Coach Oliver were essential to my development as a goalkeeper," stated Haussler. "My growth as a player is a direct result of the quality of each and every one of my teammates as well as my coaching staff. Every training session I was surrounded by players who were not only extremely talented, but who would work harder than anyone I had played with before. In order to keep up with those guys I had to be at my best every day."
Thanks to the SMCM men's soccer culture, Haussler racked up a plethora of honors during his Seahawk career. He was a four-time member of the CAC All-Academic Team, a seven-time CAC Defensive Player of the Week, Second Team All-CAC selection (2016), First Team All-CAC Selection (2017), and was named to the Scholar All-Region Team.
"Coach Oliver as well as the rest of the coaching staff, inspired all of his players to push themselves to become better athletes on and off the field," Haussler said. "The team became a family under Coach Oliver and teammates became brothers. It was this cohesion that led to my ability to grow as a player and ultimately to my opportunity to play soccer at the next level. I am truly grateful for the impact that St. Mary's, Coach Oliver, and my teammates have had on my life."
Haussler is the fourth member of the men's soccer program to sign a professional contract. Jessie Roberts '93 played a preseason game with the Arizona Sandsharks and was traded to the Carolina Vipers in the Continental Indoor Soccer League. He played one year with the Vipers. Ryan Olsen '02 played two seasons (2002 and 2003) with the Northern Virginia Royals of the United Soccer League (USL) Second Division, notching six goals and four assists in 21 games played. Nicholas Tait '17 played one season with the Baltimore Blast of the MASL Eastern Division.
"I am looking forward to experiencing my first season in the MASL with the Harrisburg Heat and to continue learning the game of soccer," Haussler explained. "The goal of my professional career is to reach my full potential as a goalkeeper and play at the highest possible level."
The Harrisburg Heat were founded in the 2012-13 season and compete at the Harrisburg Farm Complex in the Large Arena. For more information on the Harrisburg Heat, visit their website here.
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