by Sheri Duff
Haliana Burhans is as good as it gets. At least that’s how Champlain Valley Union (CVU) girls soccer head coach Stan Williams described his senior forward. His exact words were, “I’m so glad you are writing about Haliana. She is an amazing kid! She is as good as it gets…as a player and a person.” He noted. “Over the years, Haliana has really improved on her technical abilities–this improvement, combined with her strength and speed makes her one of the top offensive threats in the state. Other teams have to respect her and always know where she is on the field.”
Born in Waterbury, Conn. on July 23, 1996, Burhans and her family moved between Berkley, Calif. and Salt Lake City, Utah for a few years before settling in Charlotte. Her family includes parents, Tracy and Will, two younger sisters, Naomi, a CVU freshman, and Augusta Claire, a seventh grader at the Charlotte Central School, and Percie, the family cat.
“I think I started playing soccer in a rec program when I was in kindergarten or first grade,” Burhans informs. “I have been playing soccer ever since.” Burhans took advantage of her opportunities, with year-round play on competitive travel teams for the Far Post Soccer Club, and this is where she obviously excels.
Coach Williams agreed, “Haliana has worked so hard to become a complete soccer player and I’m thrilled to get to spend her senior year with her. She brings a tremendous amount of determination and leadership to our team and our program.”
A three-year varsity soccer player and senior captain, Burhans’ strength is building a cohesive unit. “I believe in good team camaraderie. If we are close off the field, we will be tight on the field too,” she states. “I just try to keep the team working together.”
And she’s successful at it. Not only is the team a perfect 6-0, nary a goal has been scored against the Redhawks’ stingy defense. Not to mention that Burhans, a prolific scorer, has 10 goals and one assist in the same time frame. Although the team has won two consecutive D-I crowns one of Burhans greatest memories is not on the pitch. “I’d have to say one of my favorite periods of time was when I volunteered for a Vermont service trip in Summerton, S.C during my spring break freshman and sophomore years,” she mentioned. “We worked with a small community and did different jobs including repairing the floors of the church. I really enjoyed this because the community showed such thankfulness and it felt like a really great thing to do.”
In addition to soccer, Burhans has competed on the CVU varsity track & field team throughout high school and is gainfully employed. “I have worked at the Old Lantern in Charlotte for about a year. I cater weddings and special events,” she said.
Burhans also has a fix on her future: “Although I am undecided about my course of study, I would like to continue playing soccer in college.” Toward that end, she is already discussing those plans with head coaches at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. and Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. When it comes right down to a college selection, there’s little doubt that Burhans will come up with a winning combination. After all she’s as good as it gets.