Stick success in the USA southsider

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HEATHER Howie, a former Craigholme pupil, is making her prescense felt across the pond.

The 20-year-old hockey starlet left her teammates at Clydesdale Western in 2011 to pursue her sporting dream in the USA.

After receiving a number of scholarship offers, Heather decided on collegiate sport-ing powerhouse Michigan State.

Since making the move, the forward has been an ever present in the Spartans side which competes each year for the Big Ten championship against other big name colleges such as Northwestern and Ohio State.

After two consecutive years of falling in the first round of the big ten tournament, Heather and her team went into the the competition this year as underdogs.

The team won five knockout games in a row, progressing from the Big Ten, which they clinched after a 3-2 come from behind victory against Iowa .

After winning that game, her side entered the NCAA tournament, defeating Miami of Ohio and Syracuse, before eventually falling to Conneticut, in which an assist by the Scot led to her side’s only goal in a 3-1 loss.

Conneticut eventually went on to win the national championship title.

The Spartans finish the season 14-10 overall, and closed out the season by going 6-1 in November, highlighted by a Big Ten Tournament Championship and trip to the Elite Eight in its first NCAA trip since 2010.

Following her success in the states, the Newton Mearns girl remains undecided on whether she will stay, or return to Scotland to complete for a place for the Scotland team, in which her sister Alison has played for six years.

She told ExtraSport: “I would love to play for my country again, as the last time I did was u18 when I competed in the Europeans in Holland for the u18 side.

“However depending on job opportunites i may end up in the US, as i would love to go into coaching.

“It has been an amazing experience at Michigan state. We received a huge amount of support after our tournament run.

“We flew to Syracuse yesterday on a private jet, and when we return we were honoured at one of our home football games on the field in front of 70,000 people.

“I am so unbelievably proud to be part of the team.”

As a student athlete, Heather trains every afternoon and attends classes in the mornings.