Athlete Spotlight: Millbrook girls' soccer player Karlie Hepner

Millbrook girls’ soccer player Karlie Hepner

Millbrook High School 18-year-old senior

Sport: Soccer. Position: Defender/Midfielder

Parents: Toby and Phil Hepner

Hometown: Winchester

What do you love about soccer: There’s so much I love about it. Probably my favorite thing is that there’s so much to it. You have to be strong and physical, and a team player, and smart, and quick. When you’re fully invested in it, it’s easy to become passionate about it, since it takes so much.

Most memorable moment in soccer: When I was about 9 years old, and I scored my first travel goal. We were at Gettysburg’s soccer tournament when I played locally for Blue Ridge United, and I scored from half field. It was crazy. I’ll never forget that. I remember just shooting it, and I hung my head thinking it wasn’t going to go in. Surely enough, the crowd started cheering and it was in the back of the net.

Most embarrassing moment in soccer: I made varsity my freshman year, and we were playing Sherando at home. I was kind of nervous. It was one of our first big games. I was playing defense, and a girl was coming at me really fast, so I went up to defend her. I approached her too fast, and she megged me, and she scored. It was pretty defeating, but I learned from it.

Most difficult moment in soccer: The recruiting process, for sure. I was in my junior year when COVID hit. And there were just no tournaments, it was hard to maintain connections with coaches when they didn’t have opportunities to see you play.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: My grandma Angie; she died a year and a half ago from cancer. She was super involved in my life. I was really close with her, so it would be great to talk to her again. Julie Ertz; she’s my favorite athlete on the U.S. women’s national team. She’s just so consistent and tough. I love watching her play. I love how she carries herself, too. And Leonardo DiCaprio; he’s my celebrity crush. He’s had a lot of success in his career. It’s crazy. I’d love to talk to him about that.

Biggest athletic influence: Probably my current high school coach, Rob Douglas. He was my very first childhood coach when I started playing when I was 5. And now he’ll be my very last childhood soccer coach, so that’s pretty wholesome. He’s always been involved in my life. When I’m not playing for him, he’s great to talk soccer with, super supportive. When I am, he’s just super passionate about the game, and a great coach.

Who is your favorite teacher: [Millbrook’s] Erin Hopple; I had her last year for both AP Statistics and Honors Math Analysis. She’s just super kind and super helpful. I got really close to her, because I came in a lot for extra help in math lab. I really got to know her.

Favorite athlete: Julie Ertz

Favorite sports team: U.S. women’s national soccer team

Favorite movie: The “Harry Potter” series

Favorite TV show: “Family Feud”

Favorite song: “Ghost” by Justin Bieber

Favorite food: Sushi

Worst thing you’ve eaten: Whipped cream

Plans after high school: I’m going to Shepherd University to major in secondary education, concentrating in English, and play soccer. I’m hoping to go further and get a masters of arts in teaching. I am potentially looking to get my doctorate, because the career goal is to be a college professor. I think I’ve always known since I was young that I wanted to be a teacher. I kind of grew up playing with my dolls and stuff. I just like helping people and being involved in their learning, especially with English. I’ve always excelled at English, reading and writing, and I love to help other people do so as well.

Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki

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