CENTRAL SQUARE – Samantha Haley has taken a pragmatic approach to leading the Central Square-Paul V. Moore High School Women’s Football team.
The junior goaltender recently recorded her 500th career save to extend her all-time program record, and as the Redhawks stopped to celebrate the milestone around her, Haley said she was just “ready to go. get back into business’ in the second half of a scoreless game.
Haley eclipsed the milestone in a 1-0 loss to East-Syracuse Minoa on September 16. She entered the week with a career 582 total, including 151 saves this year in her fourth season as a varsity starter for Central Square (5-5 overall).
“I knew from the day I stepped on it that it would be a challenge for the next couple of years,” Haley said. “My job on this team was just to do what I needed to do to help the team win, so 500 was important to me, but at this point I was focused on the game and what was going on. After making 500, that’s a lot of saves, but that’s what my team needed me to do.
Haley is averaging 15.1 saves per game, recorded three shutouts and started the week with a .949 save percentage for the season.
She is one of the few returning starters for the Central Square 2019 squad who finished 16-2-1 overall, setting the team record for most wins while reaching the Premier League game. of section 3 of the program.
“They don’t do them like her, so as soon as she hit that 500th stop, I just thought about how long she was in the program and what she did for us,” said the Central Square coach, Angelo Carroccio. “She is our rock, without her who knows where we would be.”
Haley was aware of the impending milestone and received a half-time progress update, starting the second half knowing she was three stops from No.500.
The junior star said she was counting down by stopping two shots quickly after the break, then made another to stop play for quick recognition of the feat.
“All I thought about after stopping twice was if I left a goal on that third shot I would go crazy,” Haley said. “But I made the last stop to hit the 500 mark.”
Haley’s rise to the most productive goaltender in school history began around the age of eight, a few years after entering the sport.
The goalkeeper of his club’s football team was injured and Haley sat next to the coach as he looked down and asked him to step into the goal to finish the game.
She has remained in that position ever since and was promoted to the Central Square junior varsity team in seventh year before moving to college the following year.
Carroccio said he noticed leadership qualities rare for Haley’s age watching her operate on JV, and said he instantly knew she would be the college goalie in no time.
“Football is a team sport and building these relationships with your defenders in particular and with all of your teammates, always supporting each other, is probably the best part of the goalkeeper role for me,” Haley said.
Haley improved her game by playing club football for the Syracuse Development Academy (SDA). She will play a national calendar this upcoming club season, which begins shortly after the end of the high school season and ends in August.
She will participate in three training sessions per week and host demonstration tournaments in Florida, Arizona and various states on the east coast.
“It’s really exciting,” Haley said. “Especially with COVID last year and not being able to travel much at all, finally being able to go out and appear in front of college coaches and also represent Central Square, is a good feeling. “
Haley is also an avid horse rider – her family has owned a stable since 2010 – and plays college basketball and softball for the Redhawks. She is a member of the school’s marching band wind ensemble, a class officer, and hopes to study civil engineering while playing soccer in college.
Haley’s first focus is on helping Central Square to produce another long run in the Section 3 playoffs. The Redhawks had won three straight games earlier in the week to go 5-5 on aggregate with a little more than a week to play in the regular season.
Central Square was led offensively by a pair of young stars. Sophomore Ryan Colton entered the week with six goals and six assists for the Redhawks, followed by rookie Delayna Humphrey with four goals and one assist.
“I think it all depends on our intensity,” Haley said. “When we lose we don’t put out 50-50 balls in the air and push, but we start to come back to it now and I think we can keep improving.”