An email that would change her life:

Senior Hannah Santamaria gets the chance of a lifetime to play soccer over in Europe


Sabryn Knight

Senior Hannah Santamaria poses and smiles for the camera

Aubree Rush, Staff Writer

For those who don’t know Hannah Santamaira, she is a Senior at Big Sky and plays on the varsity soccer team. She was given the opportunity to follow her dream of playing soccer as a career, and she has worked hard to make this happen. A recruiter for the AIST watched her play and could see that she was right for the team. And she will be playing in Europe again soon. Aubree Rush with the Big Sky Sun Journal sat down and interviewed her.


Sun Journal: When did you start playing soccer and what made you find that passion and drive for it?

Hannah Santamaria: I started playing soccer when I was around five years old and growing up I did a lot of sports. And I did a variety just trying to find my passion and once I entered sixth grade was when I think I really found my passion. 

When I started playing for the Missoula Strikers club team and my passion just grew from there on and I’ve just always wanted to play since then and hope to continue on for the rest of my life playing soccer.

Sun Journal:  When you got the email from the AIST what was going through your mind?

Hannah Santamaria: At first I kinda thought it was a scam just cause I was like. I’m from Montana I don’t think that anyone would see me and want to recruit me to go overseas and play soccer just cause I don’t get a lot of exposure being from Montana but then I went over it with my mom and we kinda did a lot of research and we actually found their website and a previous video from the year before the team actually going and winning, and so then after we knew it was actually legit me and my mom just started screaming and we were so happy we couldn’t believe that it was actually happening and my dream came true and it was just an amazing feeling. I loved getting that email.

Sun Journal:  Do you have any idea how they could have seen you and anybody who could have sent them videos of you playing? 

Hannah Santamaria: So before September when I actually got the email I went to a Las Vegas showcase to go play soccer in May and there are so many college coaches and other recruiting teams there.

  So I think an AIST recruiter came and saw one of my games and then did some research on my stats and all that throughout high school and through my club and found out I’d be worth recruiting and putting over to go play in Europe, And so then that’s when they got the idea. 

Sun Journal: Where you excited to go on the tour to Europe?

Hannah Santamaria: I was so excited. I loved it. It was just an amazing experience and to do it again… I would totally do it all over again.