(Photo Credit: IMG Academy)
As part of our Featured Player content series, SoccerWire is publishing Q&A articles with recently-committed players who are Featured in the SoccerWire Player Directory. The series will allow players to share their stories on the college recruiting process, travel and high school soccer, and their passion for the beautiful game.
In this edition we will showcase Aria Craig who has committed to play NCAA Division I soccer in 2024 at George Washington University . Craig plays travel soccer in the Girls Academy for IMG Academy.
SoccerWire Featured Player since February 2021.
SoccerWire: What made you decide to commit to George Washington University?
Aria Craig: For me, building a relationship with Coach [Michelle] Demko and the staff allowed me to feel confident and ready to buy into the system at GW. The academic rigor of the school and endless opportunities added to my decision as well. While on my visit I felt valued and I was really able to imagine myself at GW over the next four years.
SW: How has playing for Solar & IMG helped you grow as a player and as a person?
AC: Solar showed me what it is needed in order to compete at the highest level and do it consistently. Each day in practice, I was competing against national team players which really helped me raise my level. IMG has helped me strengthen my mental game as well as individually. The resources at IMG are phenomenal and I have really been able to utilize them during my time here.
SW: What are you interested in studying at GW?
AC: Although I’m not sure yet, I am looking into studying law while minoring in journalism. Regardless, of what I decide to study, GW has multiple options in all fields so I have lots of options available.
SW: Outside of soccer, are you involved in any clubs or organizations (For example: National Honors Society, French Club, working a job, etc.)?
AC: Outside of soccer, I am a member of my school’s National Honors Society and Black Student Union. Being apart of these organizations has allowed me dive deeper into my community and allowed me to give back.
SW: Growing up, who was your favorite soccer player?
AC: Growing up and even today, I have looked up to Crystal Dunn. We have shared similar personal experiences and I have always been a fan of her values as a person. Although, you can’t forget what she adds to the game on the field! Her fierce nature on defense paired with her technical skill is an absolute pleasure to watch whether it is with the USWNT or Portland Thorns.
SW: What’s your favorite defensive play that you have ever made?
AC: My favorite defensive plays happened everyday in practice. I was able to defend both national team and professional players which made every other game less stressful and allowed me to just play and do my best.
SW: Do you have a favorite pair of soccer cleats?
AC: Nike Air Zoom Mercurial Superfly SG-Pro Anti Clog
SW: What is your favorite pump up music that you like to listen to before a match? Do you have any pre game rituals that you like to do?
AC: Bring ’em out by TI. My pregame rituals consist of 3 things I want to accomplish each game to be successful.
SW: Is there anyone that you would like to give a shoutout to who has helped you in your career?
AC: I would love to give a shoutout to my family, they have all helped me achieve my goals and have been an amazing support system. My father drove me and my sister to Dallas from Houston in order to compete for the top clubs in the country. My Mother is always there to help me with homework assignments and inspire to continue to strive for better. My Sister gets my competitive juices flowing as she plays soccer as well. She is an amazing training partner, and helps me improve my game. Lastly, my brother is always there when i need a laugh and supports me in everything I do.