YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Hailey Soliz, a senior captain, is in her fourth year on the Yorktown girls varsity soccer squad.
Her first three years she was a defensive center midfielder, including her sophomore campaign where she was named All-League Honorable Mention.
This year she is currently a team manager because of an ACL injury she suffered while playing club soccer.
Why did you decide to stay with the team after your injury?
My decision to stay with the team this year was simple: I love the sport. Taking on this new responsibility and still being involved with the team without the playing aspect can get hard at times.
Watching my team grow together and create that bond on the field is a great thing to see. Even though I would prefer to be on the field with my teammates, the role I’ve taken this year has taught me a lot about myself, my commitment to the team, and my passion for soccer.
How old were you when you started playing soccer and what got you started?
When I was 3 years old, my family and I went on a trip to Bolivia where most of my dad’s family was from. There I started to play soccer with my older cousins and my parents saw my potential to succeed in the sport.
So, when we returned home they immediately wanted me to start playing, but there was no league for my age so they decided to hire a 16-year-old to train me a few hours each week until I was old enough to play recreationally.
What is your favorite thing about being on the soccer team at Yorktown?
Getting the chance to play with my friends from my town again after playing club for many years.
Also, getting to see new talent coming into the program and having the chance to play with these girls and seeing them develop into great players.
What is your favorite team activity or pregame or post game ritual that you share with your teammates?
My favorite team activity would be the team dinners because it’s a good time to get to know your teammates outside of practice and games. My favorite pregame ritual would probably be meeting in the team room before home games and listening to music to get hyped up for our game.
Do you have any goals for your final season at Yorktown?
Even though I may not be physically able to help my team on the field, my goal for us is to win the section title this year. I can see the obvious talent this group of girls have and it reminds me of my varsity team freshman year.
These girls are driven, committed, and have a real passion for the sport, and I think the section title isn’t out of our reach.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
My biggest role model over the years has been my mom because she is always by my side and supports me in everything I do. I’ve learned many things from my mom but the most important would be to finish everything I start.
Whether it’s trying a new class in school or a team that I may not be so happy playing on, I was taught to always follow through with my commitments with full effort.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
I’m pretty good at drawing but rarely have time to do it.
Do you plan on continuing playing soccer in college? Tell us about where you are going to school and why you chose it?
I’m currently looking to play soccer in college based on how well my recovery goes in this next year as I return to play. Also, if I find a college that fits my academic needs and also has a good soccer program, I would consider that school as a good option for me.
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what are you planning on studying and why?
In college I plan on studying some sort of forensic science as well as criminal justice. I have taken an interest in criminology because of a forensics elective I took my sophomore year and SUPA forensics that I’m currently taking.
Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro (or college) sports team?
My favorite professional athlete is Ronaldinho because of the way he incorporates his own creativity to find any way he can to succeed in soccer. My favorite professional team is the US Women’s National team because they have popularized the sport in America due to their success in the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?
Anything upbeat that gets me hyped up to play.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
To fly, because imagine how cool it would be to see everything from a bird’s-eye view. Also, you could go anywhere whenever you wanted without worrying about how you’re going to get there.
If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?
Spain, because it’s a beautiful country and I love the culture.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?
I don’t like to eat big meals before games, but my favorite food to eat after is my grandma’s rigatoni and meatballs.
Best place to eat in Yorktown and why?
Hirame, because it’s a small place that is open late and is never too busy to sit down and have a good quick meal. Also, their sushi is just the best.
What’s the go-to app on your phone and why?
Twitter, because it always has the newest and best memes as well as news updates and school reminders.
For a young athlete growing up in the Yorktown district, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the soccer team and why should they go out for the team?
Being involved in high-school athletics is such an important part of growing up in Yorktown. The opportunities, experiences, and relationships I have gained from being a part of a team in my town has given me the chance to become more involved in my community.
I think if you are able to play a sport in high school or be a part of a club, it will make your high school experience that much better.