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Sunday, December 10, 2023


Cougars find strength along back line in freshman


Although just a freshman, defender Hayley Hubbard has come in and made an immediate impact for the Cougars on defense. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

For the first time since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2013, a member of the University of Houston women’s soccer team won Defensive Player of the Week.

Freshman defender Hayley Hubbard received the honor after her weekend performance against the University of Incarnate World and University of North Texas.

In addition to being a key player in holding Incarnate Word scoreless during the matchup, Hubbard added her first career point as a Cougar 67 minutes into the match last weekend.

Being a defensive-minded player, Hubbard looks to give all she has on the field to yield positive results for herself as well as her team.

The Cougar: What did it mean to you to receive the honor of Defensive Player of the Week?

Hayley Hubbard: It felt good; I felt like we’ve been working hard, I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. I’ve been working hard on and off the field and in the weight room, so being acknowledged is nice.

TC: How do you compare your performance last week to your performance in the weeks prior?

HH: Honestly, I don’t know because I always work hard. I do the same thing every weekend. I work hard every time I go out there.

TC: How did you prepare for your freshman year?

HH: Going on runs and working out every day. I didn’t take breaks. There are no breaks for me. I would come here during the summer and work out with the team.

TC: Were you looking to come in and make an immediate impact?

HH: Yes, I wanted to come in and work immediately, not just sit back and float through my freshman year.

TC: Has it been an easy adjustment or have you had to push yourself?

HH: Not at all, I’ve just been playing the same. I play the way that I play and it doesn’t change, so there hasn’t been much of an adjustment.

TC: Has this changed your mindset of what you think you can accomplish?

HH: It has, but I plan on going in and keep playing. I have no goals except to keep playing, play the whole game and start. I want to keep starting because I didn’t at the beginning of the season.

TC: What, if anything, has been the biggest challenge thus far?

HH: Juggling school and giving 100 percent to school and soccer, because we have to be out here every day, for at least three hours a day. Juggling back and forth has been a challenge for me, but I still keep it up. I plan to keep eating.

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