Consol grad talks playing in Aggieland, traveling the world and offseason focus
by Kyle Bridges and Katelyn Mouser
A&M Consolidated product Grace Wright is in her first year in college and as a member of the Texas A&M soccer program.
High-caliber soccer is nothing new to this freshman, however, who was a member of the Republic of Ireland's U-17 and U-19 National Teams last season.
She sat down recently with AggieAthletics.com to talk about her experiences so far and what led her to continue her career in Aggieland.
At what point in your career did you decide that Texas A&M is where you wanted to be?
“Well, I committed in December of my junior year in high school. I knew all along that I would love to play for Texas A&M, but, when it came down to making the decision, it really came down to the fact that my parents and family were going to be at every game and I knew then that I was for sure going to come here.”
How has the transition gone so far from adjusting to life in college and adjusting to the game of soccer in college?
“I think it’s gone pretty well. We’re definitely a lot more busy trying to balance college and soccer. During the summer, they used to give players three summer classes but they were a lot more relaxed than normal college classes. So now we’re trying to find our way around campus and trying to figure things out with our schedule. But I think all the freshmen have done a good job adjusting so far. ”
Can you tell us about your experience with the Irish National Team?
“That was a great experience! Hopefully I will have more opportunities to play with them. It gave me a chance to play with new players and different styles of play. At the same time, it gave me some great cultural experiences to be able to travel to places like Serbia, Belgium, Scotland, and Holland. Also, to just play some soccer, see several countries, and meet girls from all over the world. ”
How would you say that has helped you develop your own style of play?
“I think it has given me more confidence in playing with new players. It put me out of my comfort zone, so, coming in to college, it was good because I was a little more used to that. I think it helped my leadership skills as well to be able to travel to places on my own, because I was only 16 years old and I think that helped develop leadership skills that I wouldn’t have developed otherwise. ”
What has been your favorite part about being an Aggie in the soccer program?
“I’ve loved hanging out with the girls and meeting them. We do a lot of team bonding events and everyone helps each other out on the field. If someone is having a bad day, then they pick each other up. ”
How has the team gelled so far? It’s early in the season, but through the first couple of games, what do you think of the team’s chemistry?
“I think the chemistry is really good. It’s taking awhile to adjust with playing with different people. I know a lot of the freshmen have been playing new positions and that has been an adjustment. Overall, as a team, I think we all have really good chemistry and click well together. ”
Coming in as a freshman, it’s hard to establish yourself among the veterans on the team. What would you say is your biggest strength that sets you apart and contribute to the team?
“I know fitness coming in was a really big thing. I worked really hard this summer. We ran the fitness test on the first day and it didn’t count, but I passed and did really well. I know that immediately it set me apart because it became obvious that I worked really hard this summer and I focused a lot of my attention on that. ”
Does the team set goals for the season?
“Yes, we do. I know most of us set individual goals for ourselves, but I know also the defense sets goals for the number of shutouts and limiting the number of goals allowed. Then, overall as a team, we really hope to at least make the Final Four this year.”