SCOTT —Last season, Acadiana soccer player Monique Hundley had about as good an individual season that one could want.
Hundley was named first- team all-district in 2014 and earned offensive MVP for the district. She was named second team all state and earned a spot on the all-region team. To put it mildly, it was a successful year for the senior, who said her goals this year are based around the one thing that has eluded her: a state championship.
“I feel like we do have a chance to win it all this year,” Hundley said. “We have put so much work into it. We are all trying to reach the same goals this year. Previous years, we all had these individual goals. The state championship was a stressed goal in the past, but it’s for real this year. We can get it done.”
Hundley is the undeniable heartbeat of the Rams, but according to her, her teammates make everything happen.
“They create the chances for me,” Hundley said. “It’s not just one player. This season, I’m able to connect more with the girls on the field instead of just having to do things myself. We can be two touches in two seconds, and we could never do that in previous years.”
Soccer has afforded Hundley a plethora of life-changing experiences, including trips to Costa Rica and Italy with the Olympic Development team. On the trips, Hundley usually shines and gets called on to compete with the older age groups.
In Italy last year, her team finished second overall, but showing her competitive nature, Hundley said they should have won.
“We could have easily won that tournament,” Hundley said. “Still, Italy was a remarkable experience. I couldn’t have gotten that anywhere else. It was one to remember.”
On her sophomore trip to Costa Rica, Hundley was coached by Derek Leader and Natalie Rutledge, two coaches who Hundley said changed her perspective on soccer. Leader, who also is the coach at Georgia State in Atlanta, kept in contact with Hundley after her trip. The relationship blossomed, and Hundley committed to Georgia State. She begins in February.
“I didn’t feel comfortable in Costa Rica and coach Derek took me under his wing and taught me things that I would have never known. We’ve stuck together, and I’m ready to conquer something different.”
For now, however, the 2014 state championship is Hundley’s goal. Just Monday, Hundley scored a hat trick in a district game against Carencro. She said based on games like the 4-0 victory over the Bears, scoring goals and winning has become a little easier for the Rams than in previous seasons.
“Our team is so much better this year,” Hundley said. “We’re dedicated, and it’s a different atmosphere. In the past, we were able to compete with the better teams, but we weren’t one of the better teams. Now we are one of the better teams.”