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Southwest Orange Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 3 years ago

Sports Spotlight - Windermere Observer: Aalyiah Bates

Dr. Phillips girls soccer senior Aalyiah Bates scored nine goals in three games for the Panthers.
by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

At long last, Dr. Phillips senior Aalyiah Bates is on the field for the Panthers — something she has celebrated by scoring nine goals in a stretch of three games. After starting her career at Olympia as a freshman and sophomore, Bates missed her first season at Dr. Phillips because of an injury. Back on the field as a senior, the talented forward scored three goals against Oak Ridge Nov. 4, two goals against The Master’s Academy Nov. 7 and added a career-high four goals against Evans Nov. 10.


Scoring nine goals in three games is no small feat. How do you feel about the way you began the season?

I’m excited. I feel like this is my last year, so I want to go out strong.


What’s it been like coming back from an injury?

I feel like an injury either makes you or breaks you. I’ve had to put in work and had to improve myself. I feel like you work twice as hard, and you want to be known.


Following your rehab, when did you return to the field for your club team and what was that like?

Probably about May is when I actually started playing in games. (Being on the field) is like home to me. To me, having soccer and practices everyday, it’s like a discipline. It’s like my second home — it’s where I’m used to being. It’s the best feeling in the world.


What’s it like when you’re teammates with girls for club season and opponents for varsity?

I feel like it’s a friendly rivalry. When we’re on the field, we’re not too much of friends, but after, we get to talk about the game and mess around.


What do you like to study in school?

I like science and math. I think I want to be a neurosurgeon.


Do you have any other hobbies?

I play piano. I’ve played since I was 5. I kind of put it in the background for soccer just because soccer takes so much time. That’s kind of like my go-to, where I get all my stress-relief out. 

Steven Ryzewski was the Senior Sports Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and Southwest Orange Observer....

See All Articles by Steven

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