Riley Haggerty, girls soccer

“Despite only being a junior, Riley has had an impact at the varsity level of girls’ soccer in the past two seasons. She played a different position at the end of the season and helped Union reach Group 4, Section 2 semifinals. Riley is also at the top of her class and has been a leader on and off the field.”
Union girls soccer coach Cassiano Dos Santos

Coach Dos Santos praised you for changing positions at the end of the season. Can you describe the change and how you adjusted?
Throughout the season we changed our formation continuously, and I played midfield for the majority of it. Toward the end, we were trying to adjust to the teams we were playing against and I got moved back to defense. The changed wasn’t too drastic for me since I play defense for my club team. The biggest adjustment was learning to work with the defense as a whole, but my teammates and coaches helped me.

Is there a position you’ve enjoyed playing more than others in your soccer career?
While I do enjoy playing midfield, I think that I perform my best playing defense. It comes more naturally to me since I’ve been playing it for my club team. I have a much better view of the game when I play defense which makes me feel more comfortable and confident.

How much impact did you feel you had on the successful season the team had?
Although I don’t want to take away from the success we produced as a team, I think that I brought a lot of team chemistry to the girls. I always made sure that everyone felt comfortable and welcome because we needed that chemistry to play as a whole unit. I also think I showed my teammates that it’s possible for any of us to play multiple positions on the field.

How encouraging was it to see two of your teammates, Kayla Miller-People and Gabriela Lamadieu, sign letters of intent to play college soccer?
It was very encouraging to see Kayla and Gabby sign to play division one soccer. It shows what our program is capable of producing. I think that the entire team was proud of the girls for their accomplishments and it shows that our hard work pays off.

What got you interested in playing soccer?
I think that the environment I grew up in got me interested. All of my friends played soccer in elementary school, so I decided to join and I kept growing as a player over the years.

Who are your role models? How come?
My parents are my role models. My dad pushes me to work hard and my mom always reminds me to be a confident person on and off the field. They have both showed me where hard work can get me and I am thankful for that.

Do you have any plans for after high school?
Yes, I plan on attending college and studying biology. If I am given the opportunity to play soccer in college I will take up the offer. Right now I am only a junior and I still have a lot of decisions to make, but I know that college is definitely in my future.