With parents who love soccer, Seattle Prep’s Sam Hiatt was destined to have a soccer ball at her feet. Hiatt’s parents, Eric and Emily, were strong players for Santa Clara University. It would seem the best is yet to come for Sam Hiatt.

Share story

With parents who love soccer, Seattle Prep’s Sam Hiatt was destined to have a soccer ball at her feet.

Hiatt’s parents, Eric and Emily, were strong players for Santa Clara University, and have long since passed the competitive torch to their 17-year-old daughter.

It would seem the best is yet to come for Sam Hiatt. She’s played for both the U.S. U-18 and U-20 women’s national teams and this season will play an encore for her high-school team before heading off to play at Boston College.

“She grew up around a lot of soccer games, that’s for sure, and we (as parents) both continued to play after college,” Emily Hiatt said.

“When I would go to my games, I would need to bring her along and she would sit along the sideline in her stroller until halftime. Then she could run around.”

That early exposure no doubt took hold of Hiatt, who in mid-August captained the U-18 squad in a match in Mexico City before getting a chance with the U-20 team.

“The national-team environment is completely different from anything else I’ve ever experienced,” said Hiatt. “It’s way more intense and competitive as well, because everyone is fighting for spots.”

Hiatt’s game is a blend of her parents’ skills. Her mother Emily was a midfielder for the Broncos in college and her father Eric was a central defender.

The fall high-school season with Seattle Prep affords Hiatt the opportunity to play midfielder instead of her natural central defender position, which she plays for the national team.

There’s no bond like the one forged with playing with friends, and that’s what playing this high-school season represents.

Panthers coach Andy Hendricks knows that Hiatt’s value to his team isn’t just in numbers — she had a modest six goals and nine assists as Seattle Prep finished 19-2 with a Class 3A state quarterfinal appearance last season.

“She just has a command of the game at a level that you really don’t see a whole lot, and when I say a whole lot, I can count on one hand in the 29 years I’ve been involved in high-school soccer that play at that level,” said Hendricks, in his 26th year with the program.

But before her star gets bigger, Hiatt hopes she can first help Prep to a higher state finish.

Seven starters return, and the lineup is anchored by the experience of Hiatt and Jalen Woodward, who has verbally committed to USC.

“We weren’t as successful last year as we wanted to be,” Hiatt said. “Definitely wasn’t what we were looking for. It kind of just makes you want to work harder to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”