ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – She’s only a sophomore at Alton High School, and today Bri Hatfield accepted an offer to play Division I soccer at Florida Gulf Coast University.
But college may be just a footnote in Hatfield’s future.
“As soon as I come out of college I want to do something more,” Hatfield says. “If it’s the national team great, if it’s not, then maybe professional.”
Last fall she was one of 50 players from 15 states selected to compete at a US Women’s Olympic Development Showcase. Hatfield says the national recognition has changed her view of the US Women’s National Team.
Now she sees a possible future with the team.
“And that of course is going to be one of my dreams,” Hatfield says. “But I think that if I keep putting as much effort into soccer as I am right now, that I could potentially be there someday.”
She says one person helping her with that dream has been her dad, Bryan Hatfield.
“She’s always wanting to compete at the highest level possible,” Bryan Hatfield says. “And she has talked about maybe playing professionally some day.”
Even though he was never a soccer player, he has stood behind her decision since she was 8-years-old.
“She chose soccer and we said, well we don’t know anything about soccer but we’ll get you involved with people who know what they are doing and hope it works out for her,” Bryan Hatfield says. “And it kind of has.”
“That’s when it started and I was like this is what I need to do,” Bri Hatfield says. “This is my path in life. This is who I need to be as a person too. Like everything evolves around it so I might as well keep pushing.”
This season at Alton, Bri Hatfield returns as the team’s leading scoring from last year. And Alton girls soccer coach Jeff Hayes says he has already laid out expectations for those next few years.
“I just told her this the other day, ‘As a freshman you had a great first year, but as a sophomore I expect more’,” Hayes says. “‘And then looking at your junior and senior year we are looking at some high post season awards of her’.”
And with each award, scholarship or future olympic selection Bri Hatfield says it’s just another step.
“It just makes me feel like I’m doing something right and I’m getting to where I want to be,” Bri Hatfield says. “And I don’t know why I’m getting emotional right now, but I just think that I’m getting to where I want to be.”
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