Entertainment Sports Megan Rapinoe Surprises Teen Soccer Star with News She's' Sports Illustrated' 's SportsKid of the Year Ally Sentnor, a 15-year-old soccer savant from Hanson, Massachusetts, is Sports Illustrated's Sportskid of the Year By Benjamin VanHoose Benjamin VanHoose Twitter Benjamin VanHoose is an Associate Editor on the Movies team at PEOPLE. He's worked at PEOPLE for over three years as a writer and reporter across our Entertainment, Lifestyle and News teams, covering everything from the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial to the Oscars. He regularly covers red carpet events and has interviewed stars like Drew Barrymore, Ryan Reynolds and Kirsten Dunst. He previously worked as a copy editor at Topix Media Lab. People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 22, 2019 09:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email It’s not every day that a teen hears directly from their idol, let alone to find out they’re a new magazine cover star. Ally Sentnor, a 15-year-old soccer savant from Hanson, Massachusetts, was recently crowned Sports Illustrated‘s SportsKid of the Year, a title bestowed upon young athletes who embody excellence in competition, community and the classroom. The high school sophomore — who has already committed to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2022 — dominates on the soccer field, having previously scored 15 goals in 18 international appearances with the U.S. national team program, according to SI. The magazine’s SportsKid of the Year is, according to a release, “a young athlete who embodies excellence in competition, community, and the classroom.” Receiving the news from none other than U.S. Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe, Sentnor was in awe to hear from one of her “role models.” Megan Rapinoe Says ‘There’s a Part in This for Everybody to Do’ in Women’s Soccer Wage Gap Fight Megan Rapinoe. Press Association via AP Images Meet PEOPLE’s Women Changing the World in 2019 “I’ve been following along with your accomplishments on the field, as many people have, and I just want to be the first one to congratulate you,” Rapinoe said in a video message played for Sentnor. With a wink, Rapinoe added: “Hopefully you get up to my team pretty soon — I would love to play with you. I’m gonna try to hang on as long as possible.” Sentnor was mostly shocked to learn her hero — the young athlete wore a 2019 World Champions jersey during her interview — was aware of her existence. “Can I have that video?” Sentnor asked the crew, fangirling over the “crazy” words of encouragement. “… I didn’t even know they knew who I was.” How the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Found Strength in Numbers: We ‘Fight for Each Other’ Like most sports fans, Sentnor counts herself an avid supporter of the U.S. Women’s team, who claimed the World Cup title over the summer. “It was amazing. I watched every single game. I look up to all the players on that team,” she said. “… Watching them win was such an amazing experience for me because one day I want to be there.” The rest of the champion women’s team also hopes to inspire the upcoming crop of soccer all-stars, not only taking home victories but fighting for equal pay for female pros. Rapinoe’s teammate Alex Morgan previously told PEOPLE she is conscious of how she can pave the way for future stars. “As a team, we are always trying to encourage and inspire the next generation of girls to play sports. And I think that we are doing our job in that way,” Morgan said in July. “We have this platform and we’ve been able to use that and really show the magnitude of the inequalities that we have in the sport.” Sentnor will receive her award at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City on December 9.