Colantoni combines her passion for art and soccer in drawing

Havelock High freshman Rhiannon Colantoni has two passions — art and soccer. That combination landed her a spot in “Sports Illustrated for Kids.”

Colantoni’s drawing of American soccer standouts Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan appears in the October issue of the magazine.

“I drew it and my brother (Steven) convinced me to turn it in to Sports Illustrated because they do an art section,” Colantoni said.

They waited a couple of months, checking each magazine, before the image appeared in this month’s edition.

“My brother saw it first,” she said. “We flipped through it and couldn’t find it at first and then one of the pages just kind of flipped, and he said ‘Oh, it’s in there.’ We saw it and everyone was jumping up and down. The first thing I did was take a picture of it and post it on Instagram.”

Colantoni said the American 5-2 victory over Japan July 5 in the final of the Women’s World Cup inspired her piece.

“Since I was younger, I’ve always loved playing soccer, and the U.S. Women’s Team is really an inspiration for me,” she said. “I had the idea as I was watching them play that it would be cool to put some of the main players in a piece of art.”

Solo, the goalkeeper of the American team, is the centerpiece of the artwork, flanked by Morgan and Lloyd. The picture highlights Solo’s signature gloves and features all three players putting their fists together.

“Hope Solo is my main inspiration because I play goalkeeper for the teams I’ve been on,” she said. “I’ve always liked Alex Morgan. She’s always been up there. She wears the number I had when I was younger. And as I was watching the game, Carli Lloyd’s up there making three goals out of the five, so I figured she deserved a spot in there.”

Colantoni hopes to be able to show the work to Lloyd, who is scheduled to appear at a youth soccer camp next month at Cherry Point.

“I’m hoping to get her to sign the original, if she’s up for it,” she said.

Colantoni has been playing soccer since the age of 7 and hopes to be a part of the Havelock High team for its spring season. She currently plays keeper for her recreational team.

“I love the feeling when you have a shot taken at you and you’re just flying through the air toward it,” she said. “You don’t even think about making the save, and then you’re getting up with the ball in your hands and you get that look from your defenders like ‘how did you just do that.’ It’s the best.”