Hannah Schapiro sets sights on successful soccer season

Rooke Wiser, Contributing Writer

With an assertive and confident personality on the field,  junior Hannah Schapiro can’t remember a time when she wasn’t playing soccer.

“Ever since I first touched the ball, I’ve always had a love for it.” Schapiro, who currently plays on the Masters’ Girl’s Varsity Soccer team, was invited to the US Soccer Youth National Training Center from 2016-2019 and plans on playing throughout college. 

“Honestly, I just want to see how far I can take this game,” Schapiro said. “I want to be the best player I can be whether that is high school, clubs, college, or even higher. I’m not going to limit myself. I just want to see how far I can take it.”

This season, Schapiro’s focus is on getting into and winning the FAA and NYSAIS tournaments. 

“We’ve had a few losses which have set us back, but we’re still in the run of it, so we’re hoping to make it,” she said.

Nevertheless, her competitive character is not the only basis for playing; it enables her to go out and socialize. 

“Everyone’s been so close and keeping these friendships,” Schapiro said. “Having a good time playing soccer with my friends, honestly, that would be a successful season for me.” She simply wants a team that works together and has fun.

There is no doubt that soccer provides her with an important mental outlet: it alleviates pressure and anxiety. 

“Whenever I play soccer, it takes me away from all my worries,” Schapiro said. “Whatever’s going on, I just stop thinking about it. It’s kind of a safe haven for me.”

While Hannah possesses many strengths, she’s not one to shy away from areas needing growth. She said she focuses on improving her tactical awareness on the field and vigilantly works on her physical fitness. Soccer presents Schapiro with an outlet for improvement and serves as an opportunity for growth.

The benefits of playing soccer affect Schaprio’s life off the field as well.  She said, “I have to stay very focused and manage my time wisely.” 

Schapiro also emphasizes soccer’s importance as a team sport. 

“We’ve realized that you need a good strong team bond to honestly succeed,” she said. In a sport where communication is vital, it is challenging to work collectively when a team doesn’t know each other and chemistry is lacking. This concept of the importance of communication plays a role in her life, both on and off the soccer field. “I talk to her a lot when I’m practicing as a goalie,” teammate Jordan Lee says.

Schapiro’s technical skills, dominant personality, and leadership abilities have not disappointed either. On Oct. 7, the Masters’ Girls Varsity Soccer team played against Greens Farms Academy. Only a minute or two after starting, Schapiro scored the first goal of the game. Throughout the game, Hannah led by example and ended up scoring both of Masters’ goals that night. While they may not have pulled out a victory that evening, the camaraderie and drive of the team were evident. Lee shares, “She always looks motivated. Whatever she does, she seems so focused. I can tell that she enjoys soccer a lot… she’s been one of those people who consistently drives us.’’