Early on in his high school career, all Dylan Teves wanted to do was play college soccer.
Teves accomplished his wish but also went on to become much more. The Kailua native, who moved to Washington state as a teenager to join the Seattle Sounders Youth Academy, recently completed his junior season at the University of Washington.
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Teves saw decent playing time in his first two seasons with the Huskies after starting about half the team’s matches as an underclassmen, but the midfielder’s true breakout came in 2021.
On Thursday, Teves was named a first-team All-American, adding to a list of accolades that included All-Far West Region honors and a spot on the Pac-12 Conference first team. He was also named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Award, given each year to the top player in collegiate men’s soccer. Teves led the Huskies with 19 points in 14 games, including a career-high seven goals and a perfect 4-for-4 on penalty kicks.
“Looking back on the beginning of the season, we didn’t even know if we’d be able to play games or have a tournament or be able to have experiences with our team that we had the years before and training by ourselves and doing all these other things was definitely difficult, but it just shows that all the hard work and also putting in the extra effort in the off time when no one else is watching, how rewarding that is once you actually get to get to put that into work to culminate,” Teves told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello.
“It was definitely not something that I was dreaming about and I remember when I did ODP (Olympic Development Program) when I was 15, I told my coach that all I wanted to do was just play Division II soccer, and that is not something that I really thought about at the time and that really shows that with hard work and also, you never really know who’s watching so just always giving your 100 percent and it will eventually pay off and be rewarded, especially when it comes to being on an island and having maybe less opportunities, but if you put in the hard work and capitalize on your opportunities, it’s something that you never know where it will go and where your dreams will potentially meet your goals.”
The Huskies went 12-4 in 2021 and 7-3 in Pac-12 play. UW was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 loss to No. 2 national seed Pittsburgh in the Elite Eight on Monday, but Teves believes he and team can advance further in 2022.
“For me and my team, we really just try to focus on what we can control and do the little things to make us better every single day,” he said. “But in terms of future goals, I would hope to eventually play professional and even have next season looking forward to it, I really just want to hopefully win a national championship with our team and hope to be better.”