Going Pro

Courtesy of Lauren Hughes

Courtesy of Lauren Hughes

FOR RECENT RICE graduate Lauren Hughes ’16, playing professional soccer in Iceland for UMF Selfoss has provided an unexpected challenge — too much time. “When I moved to Iceland, my pace of life dramatically slowed. I had to learn how to adjust to a more laid-back lifestyle,” she said.

While on the women’s soccer team, Hughes set Rice career records for goals, game-winning goals, assists, points, shots and shots on goal. She also was named Conference USA’s 2015 co-offensive player of the year. Building on her impressive athletic career at Rice, like moving to Selfoss, has involved a fair amount of adjustment.

Describing how professional soccer differs from the collegiate level, Hughes said, “The game here is much more physical. My height and the strength I gained from Rice have really helped.” As the UMF Selfoss season ended in late September, Hughes thought about what might come next. “I’ll head back to Houston to give my body some rest, do some yoga and begin studying for the GRE. I hope to earn my master’s degree over the next few years.”

Whether she’ll return to UMF Selfoss next season is undecided; what remains certain is Hughes’ ability to conquer the challenges that come her way.