Aug. 19—CENTRAL SQUARE — Women’s soccer fans in Central Square won’t have to travel far to see their record-breaking goaltender take the Division I collegiate ranks next year.
Samantha Haley recently verbally committed to playing for the Syracuse University women’s soccer team in the Atlantic Coast Conference next fall.
Haley already holds the program record for career saves at Central Square and will soon enter his senior season just short of hitting 700.
“I’m extremely excited, now I just have to keep working hard and trying to get better every day,” Haley said after announcing her plans to join SU.
“It’s a different type of work now, it’s just a work rate that will continually improve me, develop my muscles, my skills and my mindset because I know the next four years are going to be tough” , she added. “I’m looking forward to it, but I know I just have to work to be able to perform.”
Haley made her announcement with an Instagram post in which she thanked her family, coaches and Redhawks teammates for their support in helping her achieve what she described as a “dream come true.”
“I wasn’t shocked but I was very excited,” said Central Square women’s soccer coach Angelo Carroccio. “You’re always happy when one of your players commits anywhere, but excited that they’re going to a D-1 school and more importantly staying in our community. It’s a great way for girls here to admire her and check on her.”
Haley said the Orange have been keeping tabs from afar, but she was first approached by SU goalkeeping coach Brandon DeNoyer during an SU ID camp earlier this summer.
She arranged a visit to campus to meet head coach Nicky Adams and support staff, stating that she was immediately ready to commit afterward despite interest from other programs. Haley finally waited a few days before formalizing her plans in early August.
“The coaches were super nice, super helpful, and you could tell they wanted the best for their players,” Haley said.
“They were both extremely excited for me and happy to have me on their team for the next four years, and I’m just as happy to be here.”
Haley plans to attend as many games as her schedule allows this fall and has fond memories of watching the Orange during her formative years.
“It’s very exciting, it’s going to be a challenge and I’m going to have to work hard, I know that, but it’s going to be exciting to play and a lot of people are going to look up to me now, because I’m going to be that player that I ‘used to admire,'” Haley said.
Haley has spent most of the past year training with her traveling Syracuse Development Academy (SDA) national team, winning the state cup this season and playing at venues as far afield as Arizona, Florida and West Virginia.
She led all Section 3 goaltenders with 262 saves as a junior last year, according to the league statistics website.
“It’s all based on his hard work,” Carroccio said. “She’s never satisfied with where she is sportingly, so she keeps working hard and she’s not going to stop. SU is lucky to have her, and she’ll do whatever she wants. can for this program.”
The Redhawks are coming off a 7-8 campaign and are expected to begin training for the upcoming season next week.
Haley took over as the starting goaltender from Central Square as the eighth grader. As a rookie in 2019, she helped the Redhawks set a team record for wins and reach their first and only Division 3 championship game in a 16-2-1 campaign.
“As a senior, our team is going to be quite young, so my main focus is just to lead the team, support it and help it grow as much as possible,” Haley said.