From the time Hailey Still started playing soccer at age 5, she remembers always being one of the smaller girls on her team. That meant Still had to fight for every inch of success.
That aggressive style and competitive fire, lit at an early age, carried over into a memorable four-year career with the Thomas Jefferson girls soccer team. She broke the school’s single-season record for goals (43) and career record for goals (121) as a senior.
For her efforts, Still is the 2019 Star Times girls soccer player of the year.
“Being my size (5 foot 4), I always felt like I had to work that much harder,” said Still, a senior who will finish her high-school career as a four-year letter winner in soccer and basketball and two years in softball. “I’m not scared to go into any tackle. I had to be more physically aggressive.”
Still grew up playing soccer coached by her father, Tim, and basketball coached by her mother, Teresa. With her size a limitation in hoops, soccer emerged as something to pursue long term, and she signed a national letter of intent Nov. 13 to play for the University of Washington women’s soccer team.
“I’ve gone to a lot of camps and trained at the UW since I was pretty young, so they knew me and between my eighth-grade year and freshman year summer, they reached out to me,” said Still, who committed to the Huskies before her freshman year. “They had kind of been watching me. There wasn’t words to describe that feeling. It was a dream come true. They originally recruited me as a midfielder, but they think I can play anywhere on the field.”
UW coach Lesle Gallimore, who offered the scholarship to Still, announced she was retiring after this season, her 26th leading the Huskies.
“With a new coach, we’ll see and I don’t know who it is and he or she might not have ever seen me play,” Still said. “It will be interesting for sure.”
Still’s career was highlighted by nine-goal and six-goal performances in blowout victories over Decatur this fall. She also had a seven-goal match as a junior. Still registered a school-record 13 steals for the Raiders’ girls basketball team last season as the point guard.
“That’s why you play the game … to win,” said Still, who is considering playing tennis in the spring instead of softball.
The Raiders finished 10-5-3 after a 3-2 loss to Curtis in the West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament Nov. 7. Still scored both her team’s goals en route to finishing her season with 43 goals and 11 assists.
“I’m happy with how my team ended the season and the work ethic we showed,” Still said.
TJ took third place in the NPSL’s Olympic Division during the regular season. Still was voted the Olympic Division’s offensive player of the year for the third consecutive season after narrowly missing that honor as a freshman.
Still broke the school records for goals scored (single season and career) set by Chelsea Hunt, who racked up 109 goals in her Raider career before graduating in 2003. Hunt had a solid college career at University of San Francisco.
“Hailey kind of does it all for us,” Jefferson coach Josh Hauck said. “She really did a lot for us. I feel like she can go toe to toe with the best players, and I think that will carry over into college.”
2019 Star Times girls soccer team
F Jen Estes, Lake Washington, Sr.
The Kangaroos’ offense went through Estes, who has 20 goals, 18 assists for the Class 3A state champs. She’s rated as a four-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer.com and is headed to Princeton after earning KingCo 2A/3A Offensive MVP.
F Samiah Shell, Auburn Riverside, Fr.
Shell is shattering school records in just her first season with 17 goals and 27 assists for the Class 4A state finalists. The U.S. Youth Soccer ODP talent pool player help produce school records for points (61) and assists (27) in a season. The assists record is ready the school’s career record.
F Jersey Heiss, Arlington, Jr.
Nobody was more dangerous at the offensive end of the field in WesCo 3A as Heiss, who piled up a school-record 30 goals to go with six assists. Heiss is also a standout in the javelin in the spring.
F Katie Cheng, Jackson, Sr.
The ever-steady Cheng, who supplied 16 goals and nine assists, helped her team finish third in WesCo 4A. With 53 goals and 27 assists during her four-year career, Cheng helped the program produce three WesCo and two district titles.
MF Alec Baumgardt, Federal Way, Jr.
The NPSL Olympic Division first-team selection led the Eagles with 22 goals and 12 assists and was one of the toughest matchups for NPSL defenses. The Eagles’ captain was a big reason her team reached postseason play.
MF Anna Menti, Roosevelt, Fr.
It’s not often a freshman comes in and dominates as Menti did, scoring 19 goals and adding seven assists for a team that reached the Class 3A state quarterfinals. The left-footed attacking midfielder, a great passer with a rocket shot, will impact the game for years to come.
MF Monica Brown, Enumclaw, Sr.
Brown gave the Hornets a toughness in the midfield and she provided 11 goals and three assists. She gave her team a big boost, returning after playing academy soccer last season, to lead it to second in NPSL Olympic Division (10-1-3) and a Class 4A state berth.
D Alex Mueller, Lake Washington, Sr.
Was one of the leaders of the Kangaroo’s back line, which limited opponents to just four goals in winning the KingCo 3A/2A regular-season title at 11-1-0. The league’s co-defensive player of the year scored seven goals on set pieces, helping the Kangs to the Class 3A state title. She will play lacrosse at Navy next year.
D Julianna Barker, Inglemoor, Jr.
The KingCo 4A first-team selection anchored a Vikings’ defense that allowed the second-fewest goals in league play this season with seven. Barker, a top talent nationally as part of the U.S. Youth Soccer 2002-03 West Region team, provided two goals and two assists for the Vikings, who were fourth at state.
D Addie Saarenas, Auburn Riverside, Sr.
Saarenas was the heart and soul of the Ravens’ stout defense, keeping it organized at the back on its run to the Class 4A state finals and school record win total (20). She was a big reason AR yielded just seven goals and won the NPSL Olympic Division at 12-1-1.
GK Hannah Dickinson, Lakeside, So.
The Lions leaned on Dickinson all season to keep offenses at bay, giving up just three goals en route to fourth place in the Class 3A state tourney. Dickinson, who was part of 17 shutouts and 13 on her own, gave up just one goal as the Lions went 8-0-2 in Metro play.
Coach of the Year
Kent Nelke, Inglemoor
The Vikings’ fifth-year coach led the program to its first KingCo 4A and district titles and back to state for the first time since 2013. The Vikings (14-2-3) took fourth at the Class 4A state tournament.