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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Pounds leads the pack

Photo by File
Haley Pounds

Entering the 2015 season, the Aggie soccer team was in need of new leadership after losing a total nine seniors. Filling that void is sophomore Haley Pounds, who has become an idol around Ellis Field. 

The team boasts a starting lineup that includes only sophomores, freshmen and two seniors. Among this group, Pounds is the leading scorer with nine goals in 16 games this season.

The forward is in the top 10 of nearly every offensive statistical category in the SEC, including sixth in goals with nine, eighth in points with 22 and second in game-winning goals scoring four.

“My mentality going into each game is to give a 100 percent,” Pounds said. “I actually have a [wrist] band that I write that on before every game, [reminding me] just to work hard.”

A&M head coach G Guerrieri said he has been encouraged by the forward’s play this season.

“She came in as an All-American. She has a lot of experience with the youth national teams,” Guerrieri said. “For her to play her best for Texas A&M is something that we had always hoped for. Last year as a freshman she purely was overshadowed by seven seniors that were in her role, but that said all she’s done is come in and put forth the right effort to make the things happen.”

Pounds was heavily recruited during high school. She participated in the U.S. National Team camps for four years. She also attended Texas A&M soccer camps when she was younger, where Guerrieri recalls discovering her talent for the first time. 

“When she was about 11 or 12 years old is the first time that she kind of popped onto our radar,” Guerrieri said. “Being so close and from the Houston suburban area, she was someone we ran into a lot. A lot of our players came from the club that she came from so she was always kind of in our peripheral vision.”

Guerrieri said Pounds, “has maroon blood in her.” Pounds said she actually discovered soccer as a young child when her dad took her to watch an Aggie soccer game.
“I was 5 years old when my dad brought me to an A&M soccer game, and I was really inspired,” Pounds said. “I signed up for recreational soccer right after that and really loved it.”
Center forward, Pounds position, is one of the most sought after positions in soccer and is considered the glory position because center forwards have the most scoring opportunities. You can be labeled a hero or villain depending on whether you score or miss opportunities. Pounds said for her, there was never a doubt that it was the position for her.
“When I was really little I started scoring like 10 goals every game, and I was like, ‘Maybe I should be a forward,’ and I really thrived in the front,’” Pounds said. “I think that’s what my parents claim, that in my first game I scored 10 goals.”
Off the field, Pounds enjoys going on mission trips and focusing on her faith.
“My faith is a big deal for me, so I pray before every game,” Pounds said. “Before the games I listen to calming music and when I get in the locker room, it’s like heavy rap music, so I usually just try and calm myself before the game.”
Pounds said her goals following college are to either play soccer professionally or to become a sports broadcaster.
For now, Pounds and her teammates will face off against Arkansas Friday at Ellis Field. Sophomore defender and Pounds’ teammate McKayla Paulson said Pounds has accomplished a lot for the program and looks forward to playing with her in the future.
“She has just been killin’ it, and she has worked so hard,” Paulson said. “Last year she worked her butt off, and it’s really showing this year. She’s been coming out and been doing big things for us, and I know she’ll continue to.” 
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