Junior Kate Hawley commits to play D1 soccer


Photo by Gurnoor Sodhi

Junior Kate Hawley leaps for the ball in a game against Paint Branch.

Junior Kate Hawley is the perfect demonstration of the principle that hard work pays off. The first Class of 2024 athlete to commit, Hawley is a soccer superstar. Hawley performs with the mindset of a professional athlete and has outstanding talent. She is consistently enthusiastic, hardworking, and ready to play. 

Hawley began her soccer career at age four. She has played for multiple different teams over the years, learning new skills with each one. She began playing through a program at her preschool and transferred to a MSI rec team shortly after. Hawley played for her MSI rec from Kindergarten to third grade. She then started playing for MSI Academy, where she continued to play  for six years.

When the Covid-19 l pandemic shut down club soccer, Hawley took training into her own hands. “During this time, my technical skills on the ball were awful, and I knew that was one of my weaknesses. I remember going out into my front yard with a soccer ball and playing soccer by myself for hours every day during lockdown,” Hawley said.

  When Covid-19 subsided and club soccer restarted, Hawley noticed a huge difference in her skills. She then switched teams to play for FCGB Center of Excellence where she continued to improve. “This was the place where I really grew as a player. I gained so much technical ability and tactical knowledge, with that I was finally able to prove I was good enough to play at the higher level,” Hawley said.

At the end of sophomore year Hawley made one last switch of teams to play for Arlington ECNL, in a higher level league with more opportunities to be scouted and recruited. She currently trains six days a week and in the high school season, she plays one to four games for both club and high school a week. “It can be hard to balance both teams, but my family and I are able to make it work,”  Hawley said.

  In addition to practicing with her teams, Hawley still finds time to train alone and go on early morning runs. “I’m always trying to do a little more,” Hawley said.

Hawley has a lot going on in her junior year and has to juggle having a social life, soccer, and school. Hawley said, “For me it can be really hard to balance soccer, school, and a social life. I believe that it is only possible to be good at two of these things. If you are really committed to school and soccer, it can be extremely hard to fit in time for a social life.”

  Despite the difficulty, Hawley claims that soccer is her escape from reality. She can always count on tough practices to cheer her up. She loves being part of a team and knowing her teammates are always there for her.

Hawley stated that her recruiting process was slow and fast at the same time. “I started looking into the idea of college soccer in the winter of eighth grade, then started sending emails to coaches halfway through ninth grade, and all of sophomore year,” Hawley said. “In total I think I sent about 200-300 emails in about a year and a half. After June 15, the week became a whirlwind, and I eventually committed to the University of Maryland. At the end of the day, the amazing coaching staff at the school was what sealed the deal for me. They made me feel so welcomed, valued and at home with Maryland, which helped make the decision easy for me.”