By Anna M. ’21
Having played soccer since she was eight years old, Ava N. ’21 is no stranger to the physical and mental struggles of playing soccer. However, COVID-19 has presented a new set of challenges for the senior captain who has had to reimagine what the Winsor soccer team’s practices look like in the era of Zoom. Ava has been a crucial member of Winsor Varsity Soccer since making the team her freshman year. When asked about her favorite part of playing soccer, Ava said “the best part by far is the group of girls.” Ava reflected, “playing soccer at Winsor has helped me make so many friends in other classes, and I think the team in general carries positive energy. No matter what situation we find ourselves in on the field, the people are what has made my experience memorable.” Ava emphasized that throughout this unusual season, the team has maintained their positivity and determination.
This season the soccer team was not split into JV and Varsity, but instead into two mixed teams: Wild and Cats. Ava said that this change has “made it tough for everyone to bond closely with such a large team.” On the field, Ava grounds and leads her team as a center midfielder. Off the field, she continues to be a role model for younger students and to foster community within the larger team by brainstorming inventive ways to stay connected, such as virtual team dances or dinners.
In regards to the future, Ava said, “my dream has always been to play soccer in college, and I’m still working on making that happen.” After overcoming a serious leg injury her sophomore year, Ava was looking forward to her junior spring as a time to be seen by colleges, an opportunity that, like so many other things, was disrupted by COVID-19. Despite these challenges, Ava remains unwavering in her determination, saying, “there are specific schools I have set my mind on [whose programs] I am going to keep trying to become a part of until the moment they say no.”
No matter how Ava chooses to continue playing soccer in the future, the Winsor community looks forward to seeing her succeed and flourish both on and off the field.