Q&A: Soccer captain leads team with an emphasis on respect



Hayley Torres defends the ball against a Western Texas player for Eastfield.


Freshman midfielder Hayley Torres takes her role as captain seriously with the amount of discipline she has learned from soccer throughout the years. Torres sat down with Et Cetera reporter Sophia Hernandez after a recent 4-1 win over North Lake to discuss her soccer experience and the team’s chemistry.

Q: You had a big win over North Lake today. How did it feel?

A: We’ve been working hard for this. We’ve been excited, wanting to beat North Lake to set the tone for the conference. [Our goal is] beating everybody, getting to nationals and winning nationals. It’s been on our agenda. This is a really good start for us.

Q: I know the season just started, but how do you feel about the chemistry of this team and your ability to compete?

A: We’re doing great. We were struggling at first, but we’re working together and we’re talking, which is important in the game. We’re working together.

Q: Are there some things you need to work on?

A: For the team, I think we just need to work on finishing because there’s been some games that we just can’t finish. We do everything right and then we get to the box, and we just stutter, or we can’t get the ball in the back of the net. But for me, I personally need to work on my first touch, to get the ball down and keep the ball on my feet. I tend to just kick the ball up whenever I’m playing because I panic.

Q: You made a good goal against Southwestern. How did that moment feel?

A: I was super happy. I scored a banger. I was really excited, really happy because I’ve been wanting to score a goal like that for a while now. And I just never got it in.

Q: What inspires you in the soccer world?

A: My dad inspires me the most. I love my dad to death as my best friend. He’s always pushed me ever since I was little. I would be crying about going to practice because I hated to practice, and now here I am playing college ball, which I thank my dad for 100%.

Q: How important was soccer growing up?

A: Soccer was my life. Always. If I wasn’t at school, I was playing soccer. If I wasn’t playing soccer, then I was watching soccer. It was just always a big part of my life. Playing soccer [in college] was always a big dream of mine. No matter where I played, it was always a dream of mine. And I’m just glad I’m here playing soccer.

Q: Was soccer an outlet for you?

A: Soccer has been my motivation because, honestly, I probably wouldn’t have graduated high school if I wasn’t playing soccer. My coaches were always pushing me to be passing, you know, to get my grades up. I would stay two hours after school for tutoring because I had to pass somehow.

Q: I know you played at Duncanville High School. What was that like?

A: Oh, I love Duncanville. Duncanville will always be my home. My freshman year I played JV, and then my sophomore junior and senior year I played varsity. It wasn’t easy, but I did as much as I could to win. And we were dominant in Duncanville. We were always one of the top teams in our district.

Q: Is there anything specific that you’ve learned from your soccer experience?

A: Yeah, to play disciplined and be kind no matter who I played. If I was losing, I would want people to be kind to me and to treat me with respect even if I was losing. I learned to always be respectful to my coaches, my teammates and my opponents.

Q: Have you always been a leader on the field?

A: Honestly, I always grew up being the loudest on the field, so I just use my voice to say what I think is right. I’ve always wanted to be a leader, to lead them to the right path, and winning is what I like to do. I hate losing. I just try my best to lead the team in the right way.

Q: Why did you come to Eastfield?

A: Well, I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to go. But I knew I didn’t want to leave home yet. I wanted to live to be a little farther to be out in the real world a little more, to get out of my bubble. If I wanted to just go to some random college, I would have just gone there. But when I came to tour Eastfield, I loved it immediately. The bond every player had. I just love to be here.

Q: Is there anything you want the student body to know about soccer?

A: Honestly, soccer is a beautiful game. I think that everybody should get a chance to watch the team and see how hard we work. Because soccer isn’t just about kicking the ball, it’s about discipline, respect and working hard. And it’s about winning for your teammates – your family.