The resilient Sophie Wilsey

Sophie Wilsey is tough on the soccer field. As a center back, she is the backbone who has the grit to do whatever it takes to keep things in lock.  

Wilsey grew up in St. Johns, Michigan and at the age of three, she fell in love with the game of soccer, inspired by her older sister who played as well. 

“I love the sport,” Wilsey said. “I decided that I wanted to play college soccer and started my recruiting journey and ended up here at Oakland.”

After COVID-19, she was granted another year of eligibility.

“After our last season, we weren’t quite finished,” Wilsey said. “We lost in the championship so I was really hoping to get a second chance with my teammates, taking it one game at a time.” 

Wilsey is humble, has a vision and is also on the leadership counsel, which adds to her portfolio. As a soccer player, what’s most important to her is contributing to the team’s success and the love she has with her teammates. 

“Loving the sport so much and loving the people that you’re playing with makes everything so much better,” Wilsey said. “After I graduate, I still want my legacy to be here, known as being a great teammate and wanting my teammates to succeed just as much as I want to, if not more. It’s all about the team in itself, not about one person’s achievements. You can’t win a soccer game by yourself.”

The biggest aspect of soccer to her is communication. At a young age, she started to learn how strong communication is on the field. Center backs are the generals — they see everything that is going on in front of the goalkeeper. 

“[…] I wouldn’t be the player that I am today without having the communication skills that I do,” Wilsey said. “It is constantly problem solving, constantly talking and letting my teammates know where other girls are, where they need to be and how to deal with situations during the game.”

When Wilsey first came in, the program was being rebuilt. Her class was the first recruiting class of the current coaching staff. 

“We were the building block, so as you can imagine hearing that, there’s so many ups and downs,” Wilsey said. “Things you can’t even imagine on and off the field, so I think my greatest accomplishment is being resilient during those times with my teammates, and that is something I can take forward with me — that no matter what I face in the future, it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I did that while I was here, and now we’re back to a championship level team, which is insane to me compared to where we were five years ago.”

Wilsey is dedicated to soccer, and she is good at her craft.

“There’s going to be times where you have good days, there’s going to be times when you have bad days and there will be okay days, but nothing ever comes easy,” Wilsey said on advice for future players. “No achievement ever comes easy, and if it is easy, then it’s not something you should be shooting to achieve.

“You’re not working hard enough, so every single day, work hard,” she continued. “Dream of something bigger, because when it’s all said and done, those bad days won’t even compare to how many great days you will have.”