Senior Kallen Aley is a goalkeeper on the Men’s Varsity Soccer team at San Domenico; he is also team captain. He is focused, competitive, committed, relentless, and passionate. As a goalkeeper, he has one of the toughest roles on the team and plays between the poles with pride. He maintains a positive attitude even in the most challenging games. A goalkeeper has to be a quick thinker and mover. A goalkeeper also has to show enough intelligence to understand how the game is going and guide the defenders accordingly. It’s important for a goalkeeper to understand the importance of positioning and anticipation. Kallen embodies all of the qualities of a goalkeeper and does it with a smile.
All of Kallen’s coaches seem to have similar messages about him. Head Coach Derek Howard says of Kallen, “He has been performing at an all-league level with praise from coaches, players and even the referees! He is the star of the team.” Coach Fiona O’Sullivan says, “Kallen is a great leader, a great teammate and great player. Kallen has been a dominating force in the goal this season. He has been a vocal leader, leads by example, and he will be sorely missed next year.” Coach Jared Spires says, “He is the heart and life blood of this team. Even when we're down, you won't ever see him stop being a monster in the goal.”
Here, Kallen shares his reflections for a #FacesOfSD Panther Spotlight:
1. What is your name, where are you from, and what sports do you play at SD?
My name is Kallen Hastings Aley. I was born in Stanford Hospital, but moved several times as a kid to different homes in Seattle, Washington, Concord, Massachusetts, and eventually landed in Ross, California in third grade. This is where I have lived up until now. I came to San Domenico as a Sophomore and participate in soccer and track and field.
2. You have been chosen as a Panther Spotlight for your performance in Soccer this season. Your coach refers to you as focused, competitive, committed, and relentless. How has this season been from your perspective?
More than anything, this has been a season of growth for San Domenico Soccer. We participated in a challenging new league, and we struggled to get wins. In spite of the challenging competition, as captain, I have hoped to create a balanced environment of community, brotherhood, respect, and most of all, pure fun. I truly believe that I have witnessed the most incredible transformation in a team to defy all odds. I want to be clear that I had nothing to do with this inspiring change, but rather had the chance to feel purpose like no other in my life as a player on this team. I am so grateful to have been a part of the friendliest, most enjoyable setting of any high school soccer team I’ve ever known.
3. What is your biggest accomplishment? Did you set a goal for yourself?
My goal as far as San Domenico Soccer goes has been to win a game in this challenging league. But my biggest accomplishment has undoubtedly been finding an environment where I feel comfortable enough to express my true self. It’s been a long and rugged road, but I have found fulfillment of this goal here at San Domenico.
4. What does it mean to you to be a student-athlete at SD?
At San Domenico, I’ve had the opportunity to feel the support of the gratifying Panther Athletics Program. No matter the circumstance, struggle or triumph, student athletes receive a nurturing experience where one is constantly surrounded by caring staff and amiable teammates. I’d rather drop out of high school than have to settle for anything short of the athletic brilliance here.
5. Any additional comments?
I’ve received everything I could possibly ask for and more from the San Domenico Soccer experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. This team has triggered a change in all participating players’ hearts, including my own. It has revealed to me that one can find happiness and purpose in the most unexpected places. We may not have had a winning season thus far, but I don’t think any other team has grown as close as we have over the years. The spirit this team has demonstrated is simply like no other.