Hilpert scores season high in goals
Avery Martin – Contributor
Midfield, Yannick Hilpert, a sophomore became the first Southern men’s soccer player since 2014 to score a hat trick (three goals in one game) on Oct. 5 in a game against the University of New Haven. It was a proud moment for Hilpert.
“It was a great feeling to score three goals. In the end, if someone else scored three goals I would also be really happy. For me, getting the win against New Haven was the most important thing. Scoring three goals was also really nice,” Hilpert said.
Hilpert played soccer for the first time when he was just five years old, when he was introduced to the sport by friends back home in Den Haag, The Netherlands.
“I just loved it so much. Then I just focused on soccer, which is the thing I love the most,” he said.
Since then, soccer has been a major part of his life.
Hilpert spent most of his freshman season on the sidelines with an ankle injury he sustained in a pre-season game.
“Last year was kind of difficult,” he said. “It was pretty hard watching the guys playing, and just sitting on the sideline.”
Since being cleared to play in the spring, Hilpert has made every effort to come back better than before. The season has been going very well, so far, with Hilpert having made six goals, one assist and 12 game starts as of October 13th.
“We have so many good highlights this season,” he said. “For instance, the first win against Dominican, the first game. We lost against them last year so we wanted to take revenge. We beat them 2-0 in the first game.”
Assistant Coach Sean O’Brien says having such an influential player back has been great for the team.
“Yannick this season has been good for us in terms of giving us an option at the front of the team. He’s been someone for us who can hold the ball up at the front of the team. He’s someone that we look for when we are in attack,” said O’Brien.
Foward, Business administration major, Zico Groenveld, a sophomore, is Hilpert’s roommate and teammate. They have both found comfort in being able to speak their native language Dutch to each other, and are from nearly the same region in The Netherlands.
“We have a lot of the same culture and we get along really well. I think it is nice to have someone who you can be open with
, because it is easier to talk to each other in the same language,” Groenveld said, “He’s a really good player. I think we linked up really well. He’s a very smart player.”
Groenveld described Hilpert as “driven, hard-working
, and unselfish.”
O’Brien said that Hilpert put a lot of work in over the summer and he stood out to him.
On Oct. 10, Hilpert was named to the Northeast 10 Weekly Honor Roll, an accomplishment for any athlete given that there is practice six times a week.
“My days are pretty busy with practice, classes, then homework. But I think good time management and just being focused really helps,” Hilpert said.
Being an international student can be difficult and Hilpert knows this. Prior to coming to the university, he says his English was “okay” and he had only been to America on vacation.
Now, having been living here in New Haven for over a year, he has connected well with all his teammates and other students. However, Hilpert says he is closest to his roommate.
Hilpert hopes to contribute substantially to the team as they aim to compete in the Northeast-10 playoffs in the days and weeks ahead.