In our last College Player Profile we spoke with UTSA’s striker Lexi Bolton. In this edition, we caught up with Incarnate Word’s incoming freshman defender Karli Salazar.
Karli Salazar is right here from San Antonio graduated from Sandra Day O’Connor High School and was part of the SA Lonestars 01G Red. Karli is a fearless defender who averaged 10 clean tackles per game en route to her All-District honors as a freshman. Karli also was part of the varsity high school team all four years.
As Karli gets ready to attend her freshman year at UIW and start her college soccer career, she took a few moments of her time to answer some questions about coming to play for Incarnate Word, her inspirations, plans and more.
How long have you been interested in soccer and how long have you been playing?
I have been playing soccer since I was three years old but I didn’t start growing a passion for it until it became more competitive which was around 10 years old.
Was there anyone who inspired you to play soccer and how did you get interested in playing?
My club coach Paul Brown was someone who really inspired me to become a better player. Seeing his passion for the game and our team really inspired me. When I was around 10 years old I played up a year and having to play at another level of competition interested me even more.
Do you have role model or hero in soccer that you look up to?
I remember watching a documentary on Pele when I was younger and it really touched me. Seeing a young boy come from nothing, playing soccer with fruit as a ball, to becoming one of the best players in the world, is truly motivating.
Were you interested in going to any other schools besides UIW and why did you choose to stay local?
UIW was always my top interest because of how great of a school it is. I chose to stay local because I know being a D1 college athlete means serious business so feeling at home is very important to me.
How would you describe yourself as a player?
I would say I’m a very determined player. I like hard competition, I like to push myself, and don’t like to lose.
What does a typical week of soccer look like for you? How number of practices and games?
On my own I have been getting my foot on the ball about three times a week. Once college ball starts up I will have practice every day except Mondays and at least two games over the weekend.
What some of your best experiences in soccer either at youth level or recently?
My favorite memory with soccer would have to be when my U14 club team traveled to Europe to play in an international tournament in Wales and came out in first place.
What are your long term goals in soccer? Any advice for young players wishing to pursue soccer in college?
As of right now I’m only looking to play through college. For anyone wishing to play at a college level I would say find the right fit for you, stay on top of your grades, and know you have to learn to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, that’s how you’ll grow to become a better athlete and individual.
What are your goals this upcoming season?
I hope to get playing time as a freshman but I also strive to grow into a soccer player.
How important is it for you and the team for fans from San Antonio to come out and support your College Soccer Club?
Having support from fans is very important to me. UIW is a fairly new D1 school in the southland conference with a new coaching staff. The coach staff and players are focused on improving our program so having support will be a big confidence booster.
Rapid Fire Questions (Fun Questions)
2019 USWNT or 1999 USWNT?
Morgan or Messi?
Big Red or Dr Pepper?
EPL or La Liga?
Billie Eilish or Lorde?
Spiderman or Antman?
Spiderman… preferably Tom Holland
You can catch Karli Salazar and the Incarnate Word Women’s Soccer team this year at Gayle and Todd Benson Stadium for their home matches, first home game of the 2019 season will be Friday September 6th versus Prairie View A&M at 5 PM. Stay tuned for more College Player Profiles coming up this season.