Port Chester Soccer Star Kicking Into High Gear

Steven Hernandez heads to American International College with his mind on his game and his grades.

We last checked in with Steven Hernandez after he helped lead the Port Chester Rams to their Class AA section quarterfinals in 2014, while he was also doubling as a midfielder for the touring Eastern Football Club Lancers.

As a freshman, he scored seven playoff goals, out of a team total of 12. Leading into his senior year this past fall, Hernandez boasted a total of 40 varsity goals and 27 assists. Yet as he prepares to hit American International College in Massachusetts this coming fall, the seasoned striker maintains a modest outlook on his game.

“I’ve been working on getting faster and getting sharper,” says Hernandez. “The college game is going to be a lot more physical, and the players will be way faster, too.”

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Playing at the high school level pushed the incoming college athlete to his limits; his main mission as team captain was to claim another sectional title for the Rams. But while that goal eluded him, Hernandez has succeeded in making his name known in the soccer world, receiving All Section, All State, and All region Awards in his junior year. And last January, Hernandez was invited to the U.S. National Market Training Center, where he was instructed alongside U.S. Youth National Team members and some of the top players in the Northeast.

Though despite his innate abilities, the humble standout acknowledges foremost that acclimating to the increased stress of collegiate sports, while focusing on his academics, will prove to be a unique challenge.

“I’m looking forward to making an impact on the team and having a great season,” says Hernandez. “But I want to maintain at least a 3.0 [G.P.A.]. It’s about managing your time, and putting time into academics and studying.”