Soccer Profile: Gracie Mateja


Steffanie Richardson , Tom Tom Photo Coordinator

Imagine trying out for a sport for the first time ever and having no idea how to play. It isn’t everyday that a senior in high school goes out for a sport that they have never played, well, senior Gracie Mateja is defining those odds. Mateja is playing soccer for the first time in her life. High school is supposed to be a place where chances are taken without judgement by others, and the challenges that come with grasping a new sport is no exception.

“I was interested in soccer because I saw a lot of my friends do it throughout high school, and it looked like fun,” Mateja said. “I think this year of soccer is going to be good because it will keep me in shape and give me something to do with all my friends before we have to graduate.”

With being a cross country runner and being a member of the track and field team, soccer isn’t too much out of Mateja’s comfort zone endurance-wise. She is conditioned to run long distances and is used to it, it’s just a matter of putting a ball between her feet. So far, Mateja has been able to catch on to the sport pretty quickly.

“I thought it was going to be hard to learn a whole new sport with being a senior, but I am catching on fairly well, and I hope to keep getting better,” Mateja said. “I’ve always wanted to experience something that is way out of my comfort zone and soccer is definitely out of my comfort zone because instead of just running, I have to run and kick a ball at the same time.”

This year, for girls soccer, there are four teams: varsity, JV1, JV2 and freshman. Mateja made the JV1 team and is learning how to play the forward position. She has high hopes for this season. With having a team full of talented athletes she is hoping to have a very successful season, and one of her personal goals is to score at least one goal.

Mateja is excited to show off her new skills that she has been practicing throughout her season.