Senior forward Madison Hinkel has grown into a commanding, confident attacker for the Lynnwood girls soccer team.
“As a freshman, she was more of a complementary player, looking to fit in rather than stand out. Now she takes players on one-on-one and isn’t afraid of any defender,” Royals coach Mark McAlexander said. “That willingness, combined with her skill, makes her a constant threat. She can shoot, dribble or pass among the best. She is deceptively fast and very intelligent.”
The Herald recently talked with Hinkel about her soccer career, future plans and more:
How did you get your start playing soccer?
I started when I was 4 years old. My brother Cole is three years older than me, and he played soccer, so he helped get me into it. I started with the Sno-King Youth Club and worked my way up. I played with Northwest Nationals Premier Soccer Club for a couple of years, and for the past three years I’ve (played with) Greater Seattle Surf Soccer Club. We’re pretty good. Two years ago we won Surf Cup, which was a great accomplishment.
What do you love about soccer?
It’s always been something that’s come easy to me. I like practicing and playing. It’s a fun activity. Once you find out you’re good at a sport, it’s more fun. As I got older, I started taking it more and more seriously, and that’s kept me going.
How have you improved as a player?
I’ve gotten a lot faster and more physical, just mainly (through) a lot of extra practice. I’ve had some good club coaches like Scott Newman and Chalise Baysa who’ve helped me become a better player.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I’ve been communicating with Michael Farrand, the head coach at Central Washington University. He’s shown some interest, and he wants me to visit (campus) soon. University of the Pacific in California also has interest, and that’s a possibility, but I’d rather stay in Washington. I’d like to eventually go through a dental program to become a dental hygienist.
What are your favorite classes right now?
I’m taking a peer mentoring class where I help disabled students. It’s kind of different. It’s fun to see how excited (the students) are to see me every day. I help them out with little things — getting on to a specific website, English, reading, stuff like that. One of the kids in class plays on the football team, and he gets so excited when he’s talking about the games. It’s a fun class. I also like my accounting class. It’s a lot different from dental hygiene, but I like it.
What do you do in your spare time?
Most of my time is spent at school, on the soccer field or at work. I like to hang out with family and friends when I can. In the summer we go on family vacations to Silverwood, Idaho, and my grandparents will visit us from Arizona.
What are your favorite soccer memories?
When I was on the U13-14 Northwest Nationals team, we won the state tournament and went to the regional tournament in Hawaii. That was a big thing for me soccer-wise. Winning the Surf Cup the year before last was really fun. I’ve had the chance to travel a lot (for club soccer). California, Hawaii and Florida — the nice vacation places — were the best trips.