I play soccer because I love it. My love for soccer began many years ago. I started playing soccer as part of the Lancaster Summer Rec program when I was in 1st grade. I wouldn’t say that I loved it from the beginning. When I was playing it as part of summer rec, it was really more of something to do during the summer so that I could see my friends.
When I was in 2nd grade I brought the book order from school home and the only book that really caught my attention was a biography about Hope Solo. I loved that book and read and reread it a few times that winter. My mom saw how much I enjoyed that book and picked up a new soccer book series for me called The Kicks that was written by Alex Morgan. I was beginning to love learning more about soccer.
The first turning point toward me really loving soccer was when I realized that I could be good at it. It was a summer rec summer season and my coach was Mr. Winger. His son, Ryan, was a year older than me and on the team. The Wingers were really involved with soccer. Mr. Winger was the first coach that I’d had that really knew about the game. He taught us all that he knew about soccer but he also taught us to believe in ourselves and work as a team. That summer was a big turning point for me because that’s when I decided that I wanted to play soccer at a more competitive level. Mr. Winger encouraged me to sign up for the Platteville Power Soccer Club.
Hope Solo was a pretty important idol for me for a couple of years. I thought I’d play goalie like her. I did play goalie for a little while but I think that my strengths as a player are best suited for a defender position. A soccer highlight for me was when we went to the US Women’s Soccer Game at Soldier Field in October 2019.
The reasons I play soccer today are very different from why I started playing back in elementary school. Today I play soccer because I love so much about it. I love that it’s a time to escape from the real world and have fun. I love the connections I’ve made with teammates. I love the chance to be part of the team. When I am getting to play soccer I am happier and healthier. I may never have a book written about my time as a soccer player like Hope Solo but playing soccer has made me a better, stronger, more confident person.