"Young Allyson Sentnor was so dominant on the soccer fields of Hanson, Massachusetts, that her father, Rich, who was also her coach, told his right-footed daughter that she could no longer play with her dominant foot. “She would go out in the yard and shoot for hours with her left foot until it became as good as her right foot,” recalls Rich. “That’s her in a nutshell."
For the last decade, Allyson, who goes by Ally, has continued to practice—and to improve. As an eighth-grader, she helped Thayer Academy’s varsity to its first New England Preparatory School Conference Class B championship. Now a 15-year-old sophomore, she has scored 16 goals in 21 international appearances with the U.S. national team program, for which the forward has always played up at least one age group. She has committed to play for the 21-time NCAA champion North Carolina Tar Heels in the fall of 2022.
“She can execute technically and at a speed that I’ve never seen anyone else do,” says Liz Lima, the owner and director of Ally’s club, South Shore Select.
“A lot of people, when they see Ally, they think, Wow, that kid is just incredibly gifted. I’d love for people to even know half of what she does when no one’s watching.”
Lima, who remembers the day seven-year-old Ally walked into her club, grows emotional when describing the impact the young player has had on the culture of the program. “It’s amazing to me to have someone with that kind of talent who has [her] ability to be so selfless and so humble,” she says.
When coaches talk about Ally Sentnor, they extoll her skills on the soccer field, of course. But first they mention her humility. They talk about her uncommon drive. And they applaud her for her leadership. It is for all these reasons that she is our 2019 Sports Illustrated Kids SportsKid of the Year."
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