Murray girl rings in 2018 in Texas, trying out for a national soccer team
Feb 08, 2018 12:59PM
By Carl Fauver
Sophie Post (back row, seventh from right) was among 22 hearing impaired girls and women invited to try out for the United States Deaf Women’s National team in Texas over New Year’s weekend. (Caprice Post)
By Carl Fauver | [email protected]
While most of us were relaxing and celebrating the holidays between Christmas and New Year’s, a Murray girl was hard at work, trying to earn her way onto the United States Deaf Women’s National Soccer Team. For Hillcrest Junior High School ninth-grader Sophie Post, it’s an important goal on a path she hopes will one day lead to playing her favorite sport professionally.
“That’s by far my number one goal right now, to play college and professional soccer,” Sophie said. And her mom believes, if anyone can, she can.
“Sophie has been passionate about soccer from a young age,” said Caprice Post, who accompanied her daughter to the tryouts in Austin, Texas. “She began playing when she was just four years old in the Murray City youth recreation league.”
Now 14, Sophie was the second youngest among 22 girls and women invited to the soccer camp, which is actually a tryout. The oldest woman competing for the same team was 38. Sophie impressed the coaches enough to be invited back for another camp in June.
“Sophie was born with a rare disorder called reverse slope hearing loss,” her mother added. “It is a genetic problem that has also impacted her father, grandmother, uncle and a couple of cousins. She has worn hearing aids since age 4.”
However, she won’t be allowed to wear them if she makes the national deaf team. The league forbids them.
“I learned so much during the camp,” Sophie said. “The coaches were awesome and taught me to play with my head up more, so I could see hand signals and read sign language during our scrimmages. It was a challenge but really helped me become more confident.”
Sophie and her mother departed for the Austin, Texas team tryouts just after Christmas and remained in the Lone Star State to ring in the New Year. But the pair didn’t spend much time together.
“My mom stayed in the same hotel as I did; but the coaches wanted us to bond, so parents weren’t around much,” Sophie said. “On New Year’s Eve, a bunch of my teammates came to my room to watch the celebration on television. But my mom wasn’t there, and was probably asleep by midnight.”
Last fall, Sophie earned a spot on the Murray High School girls’ soccer team as a freshman. There she saw lots of playing time on the sophomore and JV teams, along with limited varsity action.
“Sophie is very talented and played a lot of different positions for us,” MHS Girls’ Soccer Coach Brady Smith said. “If you didn’t know she has a hearing impairment, you would never notice it while she is playing. She’s a neat kid and I look forward to having her on the team for three more years.”
Just a day or two after returning from Texas, Sophie was back on the road to a soccer tournament in Arizona where she played with a group of Utah all-stars. Her competition there included teams from several western states, including Alaska.
The United States Deaf Women’s National Soccer Team is coached by Amy Griffin, who was a member of the U.S. National Team from 1987 to 1991. She has coached soccer at the University of Washington for 24 years and is now that team’s associate head coach.
“One of the amazing parts of the Texas camp was the high-quality coaches Sophie got to work with,” Caprice said. “Amy Griffin is very well known and there were many other quality coaches as well. It was a great opportunity for her.”
The U.S. Deaf Women’s National Soccer Team won world titles in 2012 and 2016. They will next play for the title in 2020. The location of that tournament has not yet been determined.
National team officials learned of Sophie’s interest in trying out after she registered to be scouted on their official website.
“It was well over a year after we registered her on the website before the team invited her to their camp,” Caprice said. “We were all thrilled.”
A 4.0 student, Sophie has never taken any special classes due to her hearing impairment. But she has had years of speech therapy, provided primarily by the Murray School District.
“I can’t wait for the next camp in June,” Sophie concluded. “I’m excited to learn more and to continue to show them what I can do.”