Remember the question: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Answer: practice, practice, practice!
Hannah Canter has taken that answer to heart in high school soccer, and the practice has paid off.
The LaRue County High School senior striker has scored 12 goals, 11 in her first three games, and practice has been a big part of that achievement.
“Hannah works as hard in every practice as she does in a game,” said Chuck Holloway, LaRue’s soccer coach. “She expects perfection of herself, and she works hard so that she can come as close to that as possible.”
The 17-year-old straight A student puts in about 10 hours of practice each week with the team.
“I also put in a good amount of time on my own, mainly working on foot skills and dribbling the ball,” she said.
Canter scored four goals in a 6-0 win over Monroe County, added three more in a 7-0 victory over Louisville Southern, and made four goals in a 9-2 victory over Louisville Waggoner. Yet, she won’t claim sole credit for the scores.
“Our other striker, Tori Banks, and I have been playing together for a really long time and we feed off each other while the rest of our offense meshes well, too,” she said. “If it weren’t for them, I would not have seen nearly the success I’ve already had this season.”
Canter called it very much a team effort.
“They make the passes, and it’s my job to put the ball in the net,” she said.
“Hannah is very strong for her stature; she doesn’t know how to quit and plays with a lot of heart,” Holloway remarked, adding how he witnessed during a co-ed game last season the 5-4 Canter go up after a ball with two larger males jumping at the same time, and all three banging together.
“She came down on her feet while both males fell down; that says something about both her strength and determination,” her coach said.
Canter said the key to scoring and playing soccer well is to think about what one is going to do with the ball before receiving it.
“If you wait until you have possession to think, it’s already too late,” she said. “Another thing I’m always stressing to the younger girls is passing with purpose, playing a good ball into space is very important.”
“Hannah is very accurate and has a good field of vision; she sees the full field of play,” said Holloway. “When she kicks, she’s able to kick for the corners, away from the keeper.”
She also uses that vision and quick feet in another sport at which she excels – tennis. When that season rolls around she spends a lot of time, especially during conditioning, working on speed and agility drills, developing foot speed as well as endurance.
“Coach (Chris) Estes likes to joke, saying I have ballerina feet,” she said.
Ranked academically at the top of her class, the daughter of teachers Gary and D.J. Canter serves as president of the pep club and adventure club, vice president of the student YMCA, is the team manager on the wrestling team where her father is head coach, and is a member of the student council, senior class committee, community volunteer service, Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and National Honor Society. She also serves as team leader of South Fork Baptist Youth.
She’s considering Centre College or an out-of-state school for her post-graduate education.
Canter said both tennis and soccer have helped her become a better athlete and “definitely a better leader.”
“I’ve been blessed with great coaches who always push me to do my best,” she said. “However, my teammates are definitely the main reason I love to play; we work hard, but we have a lot of fun together.”