Jun. 22—Lily Hosmer is The News Courier's Athens-Limestone girls soccer player of the year after a 2022 season where she was the leading goal scorer for an East Limestone team that made it all the way to the state championship.
Hosmer and the Lady Indians of East Limestone set school records all season on their way to the 4A/5A state title game.
Hosmer, a junior, was also recently invited to participate in the North vs. South All-Star game, one of the top showcases in the state for Alabama's premier soccer players who are rising seniors.
The News Courier interviewed Hosmer and her head girls soccer coach, Max Norman, about Hosmer's impact on the program, what this past season meant to them personally and how Women's Soccer has grown.
Q: What is it like being an upcoming senior and knowing your team has a shot at winning a title?
A: I'm really excited for this next season knowing we have a good chance of winning it if we work hard enough, but it's not going to be easy by any means. I know most people don't ever get the chance to make it this far so just getting the opportunity is amazing alone, but I couldn't think of any other way to end my soccer career at East other than coming home with a blue map. This is something I'm really hoping to achieve this upcoming season, and I'm sure all of my teammates feel the same way. I truly believe we can do it.
Q: How has Women's Soccer grown during your life, both locally and nationally?
A: I think women's soccer has always been in the shadow of other women sports because it's just not as popular, especially down south, where you have other sports that people would rather watch. But, as we had success this season, we gradually began to notice our crowds in the stands grow each game, until one game we actually had a student section. It was so cool to know that our classmates cared enough to come out and support us and help us get to the championship game. They were there every game from the first round of playoffs up until the championship game. I'm hoping that next year we have the big crowds again because it made us want to play better knowing we had so many people watching us.
I know the women's national team just won the equal pay lawsuit, and it shows that they are finally getting the same respect as mens' team because of their success and growth in fans and support.
I hope that it continues to grow both locally and nationally because it really is an amazing sport and deserves the recognition.
Q: Is there any particular athlete that you look up to?
A: I don't believe I have one specific player I look up to, however I do love watching Alex Morgan play because she plays the same position as me, and it's interesting to see how she plays it differently than I do. I like learning from her. I just enjoy watching anyone play the same position as me and learning from them.
I also really like keeping up with the Auburn soccer team as well, and I love watching them play. I went to their camp when I was younger and have just loved watching that team ever since.
Q: What is it about soccer that you enjoy?
A: I love how it takes a lot of people to accomplish one goal, and I love how everyone can be good in their own ways and work together to make a team. I love how you can be aggressive and shoulder people to win a challenge and not get in trouble for hitting them (most of the time). I love how everyone has an equal opportunity to win each game, no matter how good either team is. With soccer, if you just get the ball in the net and don't let the other team score, then you can win a game regardless of how good the other team is. One person can't win it for their team.
Norman wrote up a statement about Hosmer.
"Having Lily on our team has been a blessing for two main reasons. Obviously, Lily is a talented soccer player, but the biggest blessing comes from her ability to push everyone around her to be better. She pushes herself to be the best and pushes everyone around her, including me, to be the best we can be."
Hosmer is the third profile of 22 athletes to be featured in The News Courier for winning player of the year in their respective sport.