SOMERS, N.Y. -- Amanda Heyde began thinking about a return to soccer once her Hofstra field hockey career was done.
“I decided in my junior year that I was going to try out for the soccer team in my fifth year,” said Heyde, a Somers’ graduate and currently studying for her master’s in physical education and health education. “Collegiate athletes get five years. Since I did not red shirt in field hockey at any point in time, I would have that extra year to play, but not in field hockey.”
Heyde made the Hofstra women’s soccer team and currently is a defender for the Pride. Heyde grew up playing soccer in Somers, but chose to stay with field hockey once girls’ soccer was moved from the spring to fall season.
“Soccer was my first sport growing up,” Heyde said. “I started playing for my dad when I was about three and played with my sisters. After I made the decision to play field hockey, I played on my travel team until my senior year at Somers.
“Giving up soccer for school was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. I was able to play at Somers for one year. The thing I enjoyed about soccer is that there were so many opportunities to play where I grew up. I always had games and tournaments so it became a part of my life. Many of my childhood memories are from soccer.”
In preparation for her soccer return, Heyde said she played in a summer league with older sister and Fox Lane varsity field hockey coach, Melissa. This came after the spring season when Heyde began with the Hofstra women’s team.
Heyde spent her Somers’ and Hofstra field hockey careers in goal so she had to get used to being a field player once again.
“I started practicing with the soccer team last spring it was quite a change,” Heyde said. “Going from goalie to a field position, where I play defense, was very different. Getting my touch back was also difficult. It is hard to try and do something that you have always been able to do and fail at it. That was something I had to deal with over the spring.”
Heyde regained her skills and now is a vital member of the defense.
“It is so much fun to return to soccer and I know it made my dad excited,” Heyde said. “My dad played in college and wore No. 25, which is why I have that number. Soccer was always something my dad and I connected on and I am so happy that he, as well as my mom and sister, are coming to watch.”