CAS freshman Sophie Foster-Palmer is a high performer — not just on the field in her position as defender, but in her daily life as well. She expresses this even in the small things that showcase her strong work ethic. We agreed to interview at a small coffee shop, and while I was a few minutes late, she was on time. When I approached her, she greeted me with a warm hello and a laugh. She exuded a relaxed and friendly demeanor while still maintaining an air of strength. Her modesty is one that distinguishes her, as she could very easily have been arrogant and disagreeable, being one of the standout stars on the team.
As we begin discussing the role of soccer in her life, she mentions that the main impetus for her pursuing collegiate soccer was an injury. Not playing for so long, she stated, sparked in her a realization that she was miserable not being on the field, and she wanted to play for as long as she could.
Despite the time commitments required by college athletics, her love for soccer will forever surpass the burden of extra work. She follows a rigorous schedule, with one of her busiest days requiring her to attend an 8 a.m. class, train to work on her flexibility, practice, lift and finally attend class again. She is not afraid of getting into hard tackles when she needs to.
Foster-Palmer is focused, as her pre-game rituals often involve remaining quiet with her headphones always in, which has now become a running joke between her and her teammates. After her games, she watches film of previous games to improve and better analyze her playing technique. This tenacity and diligence on and off the field stems from an important quote her father has always told her and her brother: “The only thing you can control is how hard you work.”
Excelling in any field — whether that be a sport or in school or in a job takes effort and determination — Foster-Palmer’s perseverance becomes evident just by talking to her.
While soccer plays an important role in her life and she hopes to continue to be involved in it past the collegiate stage, she also holds a deep passion for the arts and social justice. She has taken art classes at her local museum during her off hours while in high school, and her intellectual curiosity has led her to pursue sociology in college. During high school, Foster Palmer took classes at the Center for Social Justice in a small learning community learning about different aspects of social justice. A well-rounded individual, she echoes the work ethic she displays on the field into the rest of her life.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 20 print edition. Email Helen Xie at [email protected]