What was your jersey number with Hartford United?
Where are you currently playing and what position(s) are you playing?
I am currently playing at the University of Memphis and committed as a midfielder/forward. Once I arrived and started training, a new position emerged for me. I quickly adapted and became an outside back. This position was not entirely new to me, however, thanks to my exposure to many different positions throughout my years spent playing for HUSC.
Do you have a goal to play professional soccer after college?
Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to play professionally after college. On the way home from soccer tournaments, I would talk my mom’s ear off about how badly I desired to play in the NWSL. Today, that goal remains the same. HUSC gave me the assets I needed to play at the highest collegiate level at one of the top schools in the nation. I am forever grateful for the skills and knowledge I have gathered from this club and am on the path to reaching my goal of playing professionally.
Do you plan to coach once your playing career is over?
I would love to coach once my playing career is over. I could never stay away from this game, and it would be great if I could positively impact other players in the same way my coaches impacted me.
Were you excited or nervous to join HUSC?
I was extremely excited to join HUSC because I knew I was going to meet new people and be faced with challenges that would improve my game. Of course there were some nerves along the way, but that will always be a part of stepping into different environments and experiencing new things. Throughout my soccer journey, I have learned to embrace change and do all things with a positive mindset.
Any memories of the transition to HUSC that you can share for new players joining us?
When I was eight, I went from being the best player on my REC soccer team to trying out for the U10 Team for HUSC. I was unfamiliar with the caliber of play at the select level and was unsure if I could keep up. However I was quickly reassured by my new teammates and coaches that HUSC was the place that I needed to be to develop my skills. After two years of working hard and learning with the U10 team, I was given the opportunity to try out for the boy’s U12 team. Ever since I made the switch to play with the boys and was under the development of Jim Schrot, I got the opportunity to grow as a teammate, be a leader, learn new skills, improve my soccer IQ, and experience soccer outside of my comfort zone.
If you could meet up with one HUSC coach for breakfast who would it be and why?
Although it is a close one with Jim Schrot, I would meet up with Coach Derek Navin, hands down. Coach Navin was one of my first coaches at HUSC and will forever be one of my favorite coaches of my career. He saw potential in me from a young age and encouraged me to have confidence in my abilities. He knew the game so well and shared that knowledge with me while also teaching me the importance of having great technical ability. Coach Navin was a fun guy who incorporated a healthy balance of business/fun into his practices. Not only was he a great coach, but he was also a father figure to me and made sure that his players knew how deeply He cared for them. I’ll never forget how many times he said “ping” during practice, and I will always be grateful for the time I got to spend with him.
If you had to do it all over again, is there anything that you would do different?
Given the friends I have made and the player I have become, I would not change a thing about My experience at HUSC. I was fortunate enough to have amazing coaches like Schrot, Dietlmeier, and Navin develop my game and am confident that without them I would not have the technical abilities and soccer IQ that has gotten me to the level that I am at today. Throughout my years at this club, I have been able to play with both girls and boys, whether they were my age, a couple of years older than me or a few years younger than me. Best of all I was able to play alongside both of my sisters, which is something I’ll always cherish and wouldn’t trade for the world.
What was most important to you in your development as a player with Hartford United SC?
The most important part of my development was for me to pay attention to the small details and work hard at perfecting them. Whether that be locking my ankle as I passed the ball, getting over the ball as I took a strike on goal, having pre-controlled vision, knowing the tendencies of my teammates, or even the degree that I took my first touch, paying attention to these small details gave me an advantage over my opponents and allowed me to take my game to the next level.
What is your proudest accomplishment with Hartford United SC?
My proudest accomplishment with HUSC would have to be playing in the USA Cup in MN. Thousands of youth teams across the world would play in this tournament, and it was so fun tobe able to compete against one another and trade pins after the games. It was an experience of a lifetime and one that every youth soccer player should be able to live out.
What advice would you give current players as they set goals in hopes of playing at the college level?
My advice for current players is to be a sponge. Believe that your coaches and teammates have the best intentions for you and soak up every bit of advice or criticism they have to offer. Apply the things that you learn from your peers to your game. Being coachable is one of the best assets an athlete can have, and it is an important quality to obtain if you want to take your game to the next level.