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The Piedmont Highlander

The Piedmont Highlander

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Elsa Wallway Pursues Her Soccer Dream

Sophie Hess
Elsa Wallway dribbles against Bishop O’Dowd

Trips across the country, practices and games several hours away, 5 a.m. extra training sessions, sacrificing time with friends and family. Anything thrown at Elsa Wallway, she will do whatever it takes for the sport she loves. 

  Name any sport, basketball, softball, gymnastics, skiing none have stuck with Elsa Wallway except for soccer. Wallway joined her first soccer team at three years old and little did she know it would be the first team of many. 

  “When I first tried soccer, I was so little I didn’t really know what was going on and would just look at the grass and trees. Then on the last day of practice, right before my parents were going to pull me out, something just clicked in my mind when I saw the ball and I was like “Ok,  I’m gonna go and try and score.” So I dribbled down the field and kicked it and it went into the net and I scored. And from that moment soccer has always been something I’ve truly loved to do,” Wallway said. 

  After Wallway’s first goal, her soccer journey only began. Within the 12 years Wallway has played, she has switched between numerous leagues, teams, and coaches to find the perfect fit. 

  “When I first started playing, I played in some little leagues for a couple years, and then played for Piedmont soccer club, until I moved to another club with my whole team called Mersey Soccer Club. After a year of developing further I moved to Lamorinda Soccer Club where I played and developed for a couple years. Just last year I moved to a club team called De Anza Force. The main reason I switched was to get more exposure to scouts and to experience playing at a higher level. Currently, I play at De Anza Force’s Soccer club’s 08 Elite Club National League (ECNL),” Wallway said. 

  Wallway has been dreaming big since she was little, and has been taking the steps as she enters high school, to make these dreams come true. 

 “In these past couple years, I’ve really begun to focus on soccer. One of my biggest accomplishments is playing in the National Olympic Development Program team for my age, and being on the U.S. National Youth Team for my age group. It’s always been my goal to play at a Division 1 college level and I think it would be a really fun and unique experience. ” Wallway said. 

   Wallway has a very unique situation where she signed onto her club team as a part time player where she only drives down to practice once a week since it’s in San Jose. Since Wallway is unable to attend all team practices, to compete at such a high level, Wallway has a rigorous training schedule that is not for everyone. 

 “I do all my training up here in the Bay, mostly individual training. Every day I practice twice a day, once in the morning before school and then after school. I have various types of sessions including technical, striking sessions for shooting and dribbling, and ball work and passing to hit all the different areas,” Wallway said. 

   Wallway is also passionate about numerous other sports along and finds a way to balance these with her rigorous soccer regimen. Wallway is also an instructor at a local Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym. She started Jiu Jitsu in elementary school and since then has reached the highest level. She also participates in track at Piedmont, and enjoys engaging in Futsal. Futsal is an indoor soccer league played on a basketball court. Wallway plays on the U.S. Youth Futsal team which is the highest level of Futsal to participate in for her age group. 

  “I really enjoy sports and athletics which is what I spend most of my time doing,” Wallway said. 

  Wallway also participates in student council which is another one of her many passions.

  “ASB is something I really enjoyed doing throughout all stages for middle school and high school and is definitely something I’d love to continue doing throughout high school,” Wallway said. 

 One of the many drawbacks for Wallway is struggling to find balance, “For me it can be pretty hard to balance with multiple types of training, club soccer, and also playing varsity high school soccer once my club season is over. So I won’t be able to play in the high school season until the second half of it, which I’m really looking forward to too but it is sometimes very difficult to manage my extracurriculars along with academics,” Wallway said. 

  Wallway’s commitment, hard work, time, and effort to dreams of playing in college have continued to show throughout her achievements. 

  “Playing or doing anything at a high level definitely comes with social cost and sacrifices you have to make, it’s definitely a detriment to spending as much time playing as I do, but soccer is my dream and is something I will continue to work hard for,” Wallway said.

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About the Contributors
Sasha Jerez
Sasha Jerez, Staff Writer
Sasha Jerez (10) is a Staff Writer at TPH. In her free time Sasha likes to draw, read, and spend time with friends!
Sophie Hess
Sophie Hess, Photos Editor
Sophie Hess (11) is the Photographer for TPH. Apart from journalism, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and traveling with her family.
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