COVINGTON, Ga. —Judging sheerly by her demeanor alone, Kaliya Eutsey and "star player" don't seem to go together. Alcovy's rising senior striker doesn't seek attention or the limelight. But when you score a whopping 29 goals in a single season, it becomes difficult to deflect attention.
Eutsey catapulted herself into the conversation of some of the state's best scorers with her brilliant 2018 season that culminated with The Covington News selecting her as the 2018 Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
Eutsey chatted with sports editor Gabriel Stovall about her season, her future plans which include playing collegiately and the specific ways of how she'll look to improve for next year.
STOVALL: What was the “secret,” so to speak of your amazing scoring production this season? How do you feel you’ve improved from last year?
EUTSEY: “I just put in my mind that I wanted to score the most goals this year, and I told myself that I can do it and worked hard to achieve it. This year I feel that I improved my attitude after games.”
STOVALL: Although your team fell short of the postseason, what do you believe was the biggest highlight play or moment for you?
EUTSEY: “I would say my biggest moment was against Grovetown, the first time we played them. All I remember from that game is Coach (Chris Ubriaco) yelling at me that I’m better than them, and go out there and show it. That game, I scored three goals and I felt that I just dominated the game.”
STOVALL: How tough was it for you all to miss the playoffs, and how confident are you in the team’s ability to bounce back next season?
EUTSEY: “It was really tough on the team, especially on the seniors. But I’m determined that we will bounce back next season and make them proud.”
STOVALL: You’ve been getting a bit of postseason recognition. How rewarding is it for you to see your play and success get acknowledged?
EUTSEY: “It’s always a good feeling to be reward for doing your job, but I don’t play to get recognized or rewarded. I apply because I love soccer.”
STOVALL: There seems to be a lot of young soccer talent emerging in The Covington area. How far do you see the local popularity of the game and success of local teams going in the next couple of years.
EUTSEY: “With the help of the Atlanta United soccer team, I see the game of soccer getting extremely popular in the next few years. I also think it will help motivate kids to play soccer from a younger age.”
STOVALL: What college attention/offers are you getting right now and what are your college plans heading into your senior year?
EUTSEY: “I’ve been communicating with a couple of colleges for the past couple of months. Schools like Nova Southeastern University and Georgia Gwinnett College. I’m hoping to have a decision made my senior year. My senior year, I’m just going to be focused on getting myself ready for college ball.”
STOVALL: As you approach your senior year, what about your game do you want to improve on most, and how will you work toward that this summer?
EUTSEY: “I really want to improve my technical skill as I advance in my soccer career. This summer I’m going to be training more to reach that goal.”