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Marissa Hart (No. 8) won the CISAA Player of the Year and was named to the first team of both the all-conference and all-state soccer teams. Hart was also the N.C. Gatorade Player of the Year and led the Chargers to the state championship. She’ll play next season at Princeton. Andrew Stark/MMHW photo

CHARLOTTE – Marissa Hart won't be taking anything for granted when she returns to the soccer field in the fall.

The Providence Day alum started in six of her first 10 games as a freshmen at Princeton in 2019, but she tore an ACL halfway through the season. She wasn't able to play in 2020 because the season was canceled due to the pandemic.

“The team is really excited to gear up and play in the fall,” Hart said. “I'm sure when we have a season, we're definitely won't take it for granted and we'll appreciate every minute of it.”

Hart was an all-state midfielder for Providence Day in 2017 and 2018. She earned North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year en route to winning a state championship with the Chargers.

Hart still had to earn a spot on the Princeton Tigers soccer team. College players have to put in more hours on and off the field. That includes more time in the weight room and at film sessions.

“Every week, you're fighting for playing time, which I love,” Hart said. “I love the competitive environment.”

Students play soccer in high school for many different reasons. Some are playing to get recruited by college programs while others are playing for fun.

“When you're at college, everyone is at the highest level,” Hart said.

Someone asked her during a recent recruiting call about how she balances the demands of attending an Ivy League school with playing a Division I sport. Years of playing for school and travel teams prepared her for that balance.

During her senior year at Providence Day, she maintained a 4.11 grade point average while giving back to the community.

Hart told the Weekly that while Providence Day is known for being a great school, what sometimes goes under the radar is the feeling of being part of a family – which extends beyond high school. She still gets emails from alumni asking how she is doing and letting her know about internship opportunities.

“I think the biggest takeaway is that sense of community that I think is really unique to Providence Day,” she said.

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