Sophomore midfielder Maddi Santo is one of the leading goal scorers for the women’s soccer team with four goals on the season.
The Pittsburgh native appeared in all nine matches this season and started eight. Santo also has an assist recorded this season.
Last season, during Santo’s rookie campaign, she appeared in 16 games and started in seven. She registered three goals, shooting .429 percent.
Santo said when you dream big anything is possible and told the Commonwealth Times how to overcome critics who tell you you are not good enough.
How long have you wanted to play at a college level and did you ever think you would be playing at a college level?
It has always been a dream of mine ever since I was little. Just watching people that I knew play at a D-1 level, I always wanted to do it and knew I was capable of it. I had really good training back at home so that definitely helped me get to where I am today.
Have you ever had someone tell you that you are not good enough? How did you overcome that?
Many times. But when someone tells you that you are not good enough you should take it and use it in your favor; feel the impact of those words and become a better player because of them.
How did the older girls on your team help you last season?
Motivation. Their leadership has been really brought down to us to help us become better. And communication, helping us become a team and a family.
How do you plan on passing motivation and leadership down to your younger teammates?
Communication. Always telling them that they can do it and to never be scared of anything, for them just to have confidence.
How was the transition from high school to college level?
It’s definitely harder now because a lot more is expected, especially out of the coaches. In high school the coaches didn’t really care about your grades but now they are on you all the time. It’s that expectation.
What advice would you give to any girls looking to play at a college level or at a Division 1 school?
To keep working. Anything is possible as long as you have the mindset and work hard for it.
What was your highlight of last season?
Scoring in the Richmond game because my grandma was there and I told her I would score for her.
What are your goals for the season?
To win the Atlantic 10 Championship and then obviously going to the NCAA tournament afterwards. Some personal goals for me would be to help the team in whatever I can — whether that be scoring or assisting or creating plays, just making things happen.
Do you have soccer plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in two years when you graduate?
Playing at a professional level. You got to dream big.
Catch Santo in action on Thursday, Sept. 29 when the Rams begin conference play at Sportsbackers Stadium. They will host Davidson College, at 7 p.m.
Keyris Manzanares, Contributing Writer