Mean Green Soccer Looking For Two More Wins At Home This Weekend
Hailey Sutton Faces Former Teammates On Friday Night
North Texas vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Friday, August 26
7 p.m. l Denton, TX l Mean Green Soccer Stadium
Live Stats l Game Notes l Free Webstream
DENTON – When Hailey Sutton began her freshman year at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in 2012, she had no plans to play college soccer. Fast forward four years later, and the graduate student is a entering her fourth season as a collegiate student-athlete.
On Friday night, Sutton will put on her Mean Green uniform and play against the A&M Corpus Christi Islanders, her former teammates. The Red Oak, Texas native played three years at A&M-Corpus Christi, graduated with her bachelor’s degree and is now using her fourth year of eligibility at North Texas.
“I played soccer my whole life,” said Sutton. “I played in high school. When I went to Corpus, I didn’t have the intention of playing, but I missed it, and I knew there was a new program there so I just worked my butt off and walked onto the team.”
Sutton saw flyers around campus about a women’s Division I soccer program starting up, and she started going to tryouts during the spring semester of her freshman year. She made the team and played with the Islanders as a sophomore, junior and senior.
“I would describe my three years at Corpus as a battle,” said Sutton. “I didn’t get a lot of playing time my sophomore year and I had to work extra hard to get noticed. My junior year was a little easier and my senior year was when I shined. It was a battle between working hard and making sure I was staying dedicated since I wasn’t recruited.”
Sutton led the team in scoring her senior year with four goals and was named to the Southland Conference All-Tournament Team.
Following her senior season in 2015, Sutton’s coach at A&M Corpus Christi suggested that she continue playing since she had one more of year of eligibility remaining. North Texas was one of the schools that Sutton looked at because of its well-known sports journalism program.
"I want to work at ESPN,” said Sutton. “I knew that North Texas had one of the only sports journalism programs in Texas, and I wanted to stay close to my family.”
My coaches at Corpus helped me build a letter that I sent out to a couple schools, and John (Hedlund) was the first one to reply. I came here and fell in love with North Texas.”
Sutton has worked her way up the Mean Green depth chart and is fighting for playing time in a crowded field of talented forwards. She was one of the first players off the bench in the first two games of the year.
“It’s different,” said Sutton about playing at North Texas. “The intensity is a lot different. At Corpus, it was a new program so we were still in the building stage. There is a lot of history here. It’s a constant battle every single day to who is playing where. It’s been very challenging.”
On Friday, Sutton will have the challenge of playing against her friends. “I’m excited,” said Sutton about the upcoming game.
“There has been a lot of banter back and forth. I’m excited to see them because a lot of them are still my close friends. I’m excited to see my old coach.”