Paulsen Inks First Recruit, Local Standout Hannah Poor

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (April 23, 2013) — At 5-foot-1, Hannah Poor knows she's undersized as a goalkeeper.

But there's no measure for heart, guts and determination. Poor has all of those and more, and they help her overcome a lack of height time and time again.

Poor, a senior on the Siloam Springs soccer team, signed a letter of intent Thursday to continue her soccer career at John Brown University.

And she'll be doing it in the goal, a position many - including coaches - have told her she was too small to play.

"A coach told me I'd get my teeth knocked out," said Poor, who's a two-time All-State keeper for the Lady Panthers. "It's kind of cool to be here signing these papers and be able to prove I can do it."

Siloam Springs coach Jason Bowen isn't among Poor's detractors. If anything, he's her biggest fan.

"I think a lot of people look out there and they see that little girl in goal, and they say 'We'll take advantage of that,' and they're not able to," Bowen said. "She's the best 5-foot-nothing goalkeeper I've ever seen."

Bowen referenced a recent 7A/6A-West Conference game against Springdale Har-Ber in which the Lady Panthers lost 2-1 in penalty kicks. Poor, he said, saved more than 20 shots, including some of the spectacular variety, which allowed the Lady Panthers to stay in the game.

"We were outmanned against a very good Har-Ber team, and she kept us in and kept us competitive," Bowen said.

Poor is the first signing for first-year JBU women's coach Kathleen Paulsen, who had several Golden Eagles in attendance with her, including former Siloam Springs standout Adrienne Kennedy.

"We're excited to have a local talent in Siloam Springs and keep her here," Paulsen said."

Poor has worn a captain's arm band since she was a sophomore at Siloam Springs.

"She earned it," Bowen said. "She's a leader by example and also a leader vocally and by her daily decision making."

As a freshman, she played in the midfield and earned All-Conference honors while senior Lindsey Czapansky manned the goal.

As a sophomore, she was All-State along with being named the 5A-West Conference's Defensive Player of the Year.

She was All-State again last season. Poor said it was an easy decision to attend JBU.

"I prayed about it a lot, and that's where God wanted me to be," Poor said. "He just opened up opportunities through the soccer program."

Bowen is excited Poor is going to continue her soccer career in Siloam Springs.

"They've got one heck of a player," Bowen said, "and one heck of a kid."

Poor, the daughter of Lisa and Chris, will look to major in Sports Medicine during her time at John Brown.

Content provided by Graham Thomas / Siloam Springs Herald-Leader

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