A 15-year-old Hanson soccer star was crowned Sports Illustrated’s 2019 SportsKid of the Year.
Megan Rapinoe, the magazine’s Sportsperson of the Year, awarded Allyson Sentnor with the title at an awards ceremony in New York City Dec. 9. The sophomore at Thayer Academy in Braintree plays for US Soccer’s youth national teams.
“I was really surprised and it was kind of surreal. I didn’t really expect it, and I felt grateful and honored because I feel like I represented my sport. It’s not about me, it’s about all of my teammates. I’m representing them,” Sentnor said. “[Rapinoe] giving me that award was so overwhelming. I want to be in her shoes one day on the national team.”
Rapinoe surprised Sentnor with the news in a video released last month.
“Hopefully you get up to my team pretty soon. I would love to play with you. I’m going to try to hang on as long as possible,” Rapinoe said in the video.
Sports Illustrated awards the accolade to a young athlete who gives back to the community and excels in sports and school.
Sentnor plays for South Shore Select Soccer and the under-18 women’s national team. She has scored 16 goals in 21 appearances for the national team since 2017.
“I love playing soccer, so any opportunity that I get to play, and any of the opportunities I get to play with the best players and coaches, I want to take,” Sentnor said.
Sentnor started playing soccer when she was 4 years old. Her parents said her work ethic is as “unbelievable” as her talent.
“She took to soccer really quickly. She loved running around and having the ball at her feet. She was always outside or in the basement or garage practicing and doing her thing,” said her father, Rich Sentnor. “She’s outgrown our basement at this point. We end up traveling to a lot of different places to keep her where she needs to be in her development.”
Sentnor hails from the same town as Samantha Mewis, a 27-year-old midfielder and 2019 World Cup champion. Sentnor said she has trained with Mewis, one of her favorite players, a few times.
“[Sentnor] obviously has the talent, but the big thing is her commitment to the process and her dedication,” said Sentnor’s coach, Liz Lima.
Sentnor is committed to play soccer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the country’s top college soccer programs.
“My short-term goal is to make the U-17 women’s team and hopefully qualify for the [2020 FIFA U-17] World Cup. My long-term goal is to be on the national team and play professionally and experience different cultures and play with the best players,” Sentnor said.
Alyssa Lukpat can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaLukpat.