Freshman forward Ruby Hellstrom has had her ups and downs throughout the year but has provided a scoring presence off the bench throughout the season.
It did not take long for the UW faithful to get acquainted with Hellstrom. She scored just 35 minutes into her career, and still describes her goal against No. 7 Florida as her favorite moment of the season so far.
Hellstrom says that she never felt overwhelmed coming into the program, and it shows on the field. She has provided a spark off the bench for the Huskies as she scored two goals this season in her 11 games played.
“I didn’t have many concerns, of course it’s a big jump going from club soccer to college soccer,” Hellstrom said. “This is such a high level, but everything has been really awesome and everyone has been really accepting.”
The San Diego native has seen strides in her growth as a Husky, primarily with her confidence on the ball.
“Just being in such a warm and encouraging environment, it’s really helped me kind of gain my confidence as a player,” Hellstrom said.
She started out hot, getting three shots on target in the first two games of the season, but then cooled down after. In the past month, Hellstrom has put 60 percent of her shots on frame and her season average now sits nearly even with Washington’s as a team.
“She’s been great at times, there’s other times where she looks a little bit lost and the game’s a little bit too quick for her, but it’s not for lack of effort,” head coach Lesle Gallimore said.
On a team with plenty of depth up top, Hellstrom has yet to start a game. There’s been a heavy rotation recently for the last forward starting spot next to senior Pascale Dumesnil, with Summer Yates, Ameera Hussen, and Makena Carr cycling through starts in the past five games.
“She’s a good player, she’s a quick player, she’s a strong player, and we know she can finish, but there’s just a lot of competition in those spots,” Gallimore said. “We have to have some attacking players that want it on their shoulders, and that’s what we’re looking for this week.”
Washington is back in Montlake this week for just one game, taking on No. 10 UCLA on Friday Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.
Reach contributing writer Josh Eddy at firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @JoshTreEddy