Three sports. A host of schools.
There was a lot to decide on for Faith Hutchins.
Ultimately, the answer was right in front of her.
The former soccer, basketball and softball star at South Kingstown High School will play soccer in her hometown at the University of Rhode Island. With the team set to play a spring season after fall’s cancellation, Hutchins will join the team immediately.
“I chose URI because it gave me the opportunity to play the sport I love while getting a good education and living close to home,” Hutchins said. “I feel grateful to have the opportunity to play right in my hometown.”
It was a memorable career for Hutchins with the Rebels. She was a five-time all-state selection across her three sports and was part of championship teams in all three. A power-hitting shortstop on the softball team, she led the Rebels to their first-ever fast-pitch title in 2019. Playing goalie for the soccer team, she backstopped a dominant defensive effort in a championship run that fall. And she helped lead the basketball team to the Division I championship in 2020.
The title run in basketball was her final act as a South Kingstown star. Her last softball season was canceled by the pandemic. Hutchins planned to do a post-graduate year at the Taft School, where she would play all three sports and continue to chart a course for the future, but those plans were also scrapped due to the pandemic.
There was one silver lining. Hutchins suddenly found it easier to identify her favorite sport.
“With it being a difficult year as an athlete not being able to play as much as I anticipated, I came to the realization that soccer is what I missed most,” she said.
The pitch was the stage for some of her greatest success. While her 3-pointers and home runs might have been more noticeable, her steady presence on the goal line was a constant in the Rebels’ rise to state’s best. She was named the 2020 Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year and a United Soccer Coaches Association All-American.
“I am really excited to add Faith to the Rhody women’s soccer program this spring,” said URI coach Megan Jessee. “It’s always nice to have great local talent.”
The last few years, Hutchins played with the Rams F.C. Club program, which is full of connections to the men’s and women’s teams at URI. She will join a URI program that took steps forward in a rebuild last season, going 4-9-1.
The Atlantic 10 conference pushed fall sports to the spring. The Rams are set to begin a 13-game slate on Feb. 14. Official practices began this week, and Hutchins is thrilled to be on board right away.
“Getting an early start joining this team in the spring rather than next fall was a no brainer,” Hutchins said. “I feel that it gives me the extra time to get to know my teammates and coaches and get a feel for what college life is like. COVID impacted my ability to play with a team this year as I was planning to go to Taft which didn’t end up working out. So I am very excited to be able to start playing with a team again and I couldn’t be more excited to play with this team in particular.”
South Kingstown fans can get their first look at Hutchins on URI’s home field March 11, when the Rams host UMass.