Riley Haggerty, girls soccer, senior

“Riley Haggerty is one of our captains and is expected to lead our team this season. Riley has played varsity since her freshman year and has been a starter for the past two years. She has the commitment, dedication and leadership to help Union soccer excel to the next level. Riley plays many positions and is a great motivator; one who is loved by every teammate and all of our coaches.”
— Union girls soccer coach Cassiano Dos Santos

Coach Dos Santos last year gave you a lot of the credit for helping the team reach the state group semifinals last year. How much do you feel you have learned over the past two seasons?
Do you feel any extra responsibility as a senior this season?
I feel like I have learned so much over these past two seasons which has helped me develop as a player. As a senior I feel much more responsibility to lead the team and set a good example for the underclassmen.

What did you work on over the off-season to help you prepare for this year?
I worked on improving my strength because I knew we would need more strength in this upcoming season. I also worked on my mental approach to the game and becoming a smarter player.

How much of last year’s semifinal loss to Watchung stays with you?
It was a heartbreaking loss especially after how far we came along in the season, but I don’t let that game hold me back. I know that I have to think about future games and focus on getting back to that semifinal.

Last season you played most of the season in midfield and then were shifted into defense as the team shifted its formation. Where are you expecting to play this season?
I am expecting to play more defensively this year, but I’m always ready to play wherever my team needs me, whether that is in the midfield or the defense.

Where do you feel the team has improved and what do feel needs to get better?
This year we definitely lack experience playing at the varsity level because we have many new
faces on the team. However, our team chemistry has improved dramatically and we continue to develop it every day.

Last fall you said you were planning on attending college to study biology and hoped to play collegiate soccer. Have you gotten any further with those plans, or have they changed?
My plans have mostly stayed the same, and this fall I am looking to finalize them as applications come out. I have an idea of where I would like to go, but I’m still open to different options.

Beside the soccer season, what are you most looking forward to with the start of the school year?
I am looking forward to finishing my last year at Union High on a good note academically and enjoying my time as a senior.