Former Belvidere North goalie benefitting from early graduation

DEKALB, Ill. (WIFR) Erin McKinney left behind a lasting legacy at Belvidere North. She was named All-NIC-10 twice, the 2017 conference most valuable player and she helped the Blue Thunder win their first ever NIC-10 championship, and now she's trying to do the same thing at Akron.

The freshman is the Zips go-to woman in net starting eight games this year and even kept NIU in check during a 3-2 win in DeKalb on Sunday.

It was only McKinney's second victory with Akron this season, but she feels the program is moving in the right direction.

She even left Belvidere North a semester early and missed out on her senior season just to get acclimated with her new teammates.

"The fact that I graduated early from high school last year and came in a semester early, I really got comfortable with the team and it makes it easier to communicate with them because I know their strengths and weaknesses and what tone they like to hear and what they don't. One of the most important things about being goalkeeper is knowing your team and knowing where to put everyone. I feel like that makes me that much better after I went a semester early."

McKinney is 2-4-1 this year with a 1.77 goals against average. She has allowed 14 goals and has made 47 saves.