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The GH Falcon

The GH Falcon

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Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
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Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Played in the Hornets home arena, Charlotte played host to first and second-round matchups including UNC vs. Michigan State.
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Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
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Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events

Underclassmen on top: Women’s soccer

The+number+two+is+Brooke+Haynes+%28%E2%80%9826%29+favorite+jersey+number+to+wear%2C+and+she+has+been+fortunate+enough+to+have+that+jersey+for+her+freshman+and+sophomore+season.+Picture+used+with+permission+from+Brooke+Haynes.
The number two is Brooke Haynes’ (‘26) favorite jersey number to wear, and she has been fortunate enough to have that jersey for her freshman and sophomore season. Picture used with permission from Brooke Haynes.

“GOOOOAAAALLLL” the announcer shouts as the crowd roars with excitement and the players celebrate near the corner flag. A sensation of euphoria rushes through Brooke Haynes (‘26) as she joins the rest of her team, filled with excitement for her teammate who just scored. Throughout the beginning of the season, even as an underclassman, Haynes has filled a vital role for the Green Hope women’s varsity soccer team.

Brooke Haynes sat down with the GHFalcon and answered some questions about her soccer journey and the realities of varsity soccer for underclassmen.

What prompted an interest in soccer?

While most children begin walking at around 12-18 months of age, Haynes began her promising soccer career only 18 months after her first steps. With two older sisters, Haynes felt, “Since they both played soccer I got into it almost immediately.” After a couple of years in recreational soccer leagues, Haynes began playing club soccer with the North Carolina Futbol Club (NCFC) during middle school, which is when she started taking soccer seriously.

Brooke Haynes waits for a pass from her teammates to attack towards goal against Cary High School. Picture used with permission from Brooke Haynes.

What were some expectations when entering high school in terms of athletics?

Haynes had few expectations regarding high school soccer because she didn’t play for the Davis Drive Middle soccer team. “I had a lot going on with travel soccer and dance so I never tried out for the middle school team.” Like all incoming freshmen, Haynes did worry about feeling distant from the older girls. However, Haynes revealed, “All the girls, even the seniors, were nice and made everyone feel included. As a freshman, I felt like I could be friends with my senior teammates the same way I could with my other freshman teammate.” Outside of the social aspect, Haynes was ready for the level of competition that high school offers, as her NCFC classic travel team frequently competes at a high level against teams throughout the region.

What’s the best part about being on varsity as an underclassman?

Guidance was one of the most influential aspects of being an underclassmen on varsity for Haynes. “Last year there were only two freshmen and two sophomores on the team, but all of the upperclassmen were very welcoming and helped guide us along the way since they had already been playing for a couple seasons. They helped both with soccer and with high school in general since they had been in our positions before.” 

What adversity is commonly faced as an underclassman on varsity?

This guidance proved necessary for Haynes because of the major adjustment that school sports offer, especially at the varsity level. While adjusting to school soccer, “The hardest part was balancing having games during the week. I was so used to the NCFC games on weekends only but traveling on a bus with JV, doing homework at games, and trying to prepare for my game after school were all difficult for me, especially last year.” Like most high school athletes, Haynes quickly adapted, learning the significance of time management, especially on game days, from her older teammates.

What should be anticipated for the next few years in Green Hope women’s soccer?

Gradual improvements are a major focus for Haynes, and the rest of the women’s team, this season. “Our team is definitely better than it has been and we have more passion this year. We do play together as a team but we could still work on our communication.” Due to this enhanced passion, the team has met together to set goals, one of which includes, “Winning at least 6 games.” For the future, Haynes said, “I’m kind of nervous because we have eight seniors, so we’ll be losing a lot of talent, but we have a lot of passionate and hard-working girls that will return on both varsity and JV… we should be able to be more successful.”

As in-conference play begins, Haynes’ role will become even more significant for her team and her progression as a dominant attacker for Green Hope’s program going forward. Even with her primary role being assisting on her NCFC team, Brooke Haynes hopes to become a more confident goal scorer, finding the back of the net as much as she can this season, and continuing to develop her finishing for the next couple of years.

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About the Contributor
Justin Jackson, Staff Writer
Justin is a senior at Green Hope, and this is his first year as a Staff Writer. Being in the Math Honors Society, he enjoys tutoring other students struggling with the subject and with SAT prep. Justin hopes to continue his studies outside of high school, wanting to get an MBA in Business with a concentration in Finance. Additionally, Justin is a big part of the Green Hope community as he is a part of many organizations like Student Council, Falcon Frenzy, and on the board of Green Hope's DECA chapter. On top of that, he's also a player on the Men's Soccer and Basketball team at school. If you ever want to grab a bite, you can often find Justin working at a popular Italian restaurant, Lugano's, over the weekend. He is passionate about helping others as well as being true to his interests. Besides school and work, Justin enjoys spending his time listening to music, lifting weights, and hanging out with friends.
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