SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Anna Nelson grew up with two older sisters who played on the West Genesee girl’s soccer team.
“Growing up watching them, we were always super competitive, so that’s how I really got into it. And then when the time came, I went to club soccer, and then from there, I just kind of took off and kept up with it,” said Nelson.
Now a junior on the team, Anna has grown as a player, even in various positions.
“[She’s] a really selfless player. Last year, she actually was a defender for us. We moved her back there just for the year to kind of balance out our team. This year, we wanted to put her up top as a forward, and we’d graduated a couple of our goal scorers,” said West Genesee head coach John McCloskey. “All you ask of her, she’s ready and willing to do whatever is best for the team. When I said I want her to be a forward this year, she said whatever’s best for the team.”
The Wildcats’ sectional championship game was a big moment for Anna. She scored the first goal of the game, and then when it went into overtime, she made the game-winner to secure the win for West Genesee. It was a moment she will never forget.
“I think the ball got played from one side to the other, and Maria gave me a great assist. She was in the right spot at the right time, and I just was able to just kind of put it in there. I don’t really remember a whole lot of it, but all I remember was afterwards everyone’s running at me. And I was like, that was amazing, and we were all just so excited. And it was really a team effort the whole game,” said Nelson.
For Anna, moments like that are sweet, but she looks at the season as a whole to gauge her growth as a player.
“For me personally, each year I try to get a little bit better as it usually goes. And I’m very competitive, and I like to keep myself held at high expectations. So my goal this year, I was like, okay, see how many points you can put up there, see how you can help your team. And I just love that I was the one that was able to help them push that little bit further to get us into the postseason,” said Nelson.
Although the Wildcat’s postseason run has ended, Anna is excited for what’s to come next season.
Congratulations, Anna! You are the Byrne Dairy and Deli NewsChannel 9 Student-Athlete of the Week.