From a very young age, soccer has played a hugely important role in my life. First joining a local club at the age of 5, my earliest memories of playing soccer are ones of being the only girl on an all-boys team. This factor did not deter me, but rather, it encouraged me to continue playing. Growing up on the border between France and Switzerland, playing soccer has not always been easy. In this area, women’s soccer is still not incredibly well established or respected, sometimes making is difficult to pursue my goals.
However, instead of giving in, I decided to look at the more positive side. These restrictions pushed me to set myself higher goals and to dream of one day playing soccer at a higher level. It is through this sometimes tough, confusing and somewhat limited soccer system that I am emerging from.
The incredibly international environment in which I have grown up surrounded by, has fuelled my dream to travel the world whilst playing soccer. Growing up in the French and Swiss female soccer environment, I have always regarded the American system with awe and envy, regularly wishing that I could have grown up surrounded by such a supportive and appreciative view on women’s soccer.
My dream of playing at the collegiate level fully became a feasible and realistic possibility when I learned of the heights and achievements of another student at my school, Collège du Léman. Seeing how she progressed and managed to integrate herself into the American system from the same background as me has made me realize that my dream is realistic.
At this precise moment in time, I am currently playing in the women’s team for a Swiss club called FC Versoix in the canton of Geneva. We are currently in the third league within the canton, having placed first in the girls’ U-20 league the previous season. At the end of the 2015 season, I earned the top goal scorer award. Playing on this team has given me the opportunity to play against girls who are a lot older than me, enabling me to face some very physical oppositions.
As well as playing for this club, I have also been selected to play on the girls’ cantonal teams since the age of 11. This is the equivalent of state teams in the USA, and has enabled me to compete in inter-cantonal competitions, attended by Swiss National youth team coaches and scouts. The past two years while playing for Team Genève U-16, I have played in a boys’ league, where we are faced with extremely skilful, strong and athletic teams. I believe that it is because of this that I have reached the playing level that I have at the moment, as it has made me push myself to become the best player possible.
Finally, I have been playing on my school’s Varsity team since 7th grade, as well as captaining the Junior Varsity team. As a team, we have repeatedly won the international schools’ cup called the ADISR, as well as coming runners up in the ESSL (European Schools Soccer League) tournament in Stockholm in 2015 and wining it this year. In the two years we competed, I was awarded the Most Valuable Player trophy.
However, I believe that academics must be valued above sport. It is with this mind-set that I have repeatedly managed to make the high-honors roll, been awarded the Prix d’Excéllence and be inducted into the NHS. Currently, I am undecided on what subject and course I would like to study at college, however, I would like to take a 4-year course.
Some of my idols, both female and male, as I don’t believe in sexual segregation in soccer, instead believing in one genderless, beautiful game to be enjoyed by all are: Lara Dickenman (Swiss and Wolfsburg player), Alex Morgan, Eugénie LeSommer (French and Olympique Lyonnais player), Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi.
I have always held the strong belief that academic work should always be prioritized over my sport, even if at the time it seems frustrating, in the long run it will be rewarding. I have consistently achieved high grades all through middle school and high school, and I am now in my first year of IB. As of yet, I have not chosen an academic field in which I would like to study as I am still unsure of what I would like to do in the future. However, I am set on wanting to attend a top university which would give me the means and possibilities to become the best I can be.
Finally, perhaps to some people’s surprise, there are some activities that I do other than playing soccer. One of my hobbies is photography because it allows me to be creative and to look at things with a different perspective. One of my other hobbies is skiing. It is fairly hard to not like skiing when you have the Alps as your back garden.