Leesville Sophomore Playing for Women’s US National Soccer Team

Katie Groff (left) plays starting center back in the US vs Switzerland game in Belgium. Groff is one of the select few chosen to be a part of the US national team. (photo courtesy of US Soccer)

Katie Groff, a sophomore at Leesville, is a defensive back on the U16 US National Women’s Soccer team. Katie has been a part of the team since March of 2017 and has already been to four camps now, two of them being international.

The US national team only chooses twenty of the country’s best players. It is a great honor and accomplishment to be selected for the team.

Groff and her teammates are a talented group of girls that dominate wherever they go.

In the past six months, Katie and her team have traveled to Belgium and Germany. “I am so grateful I was able to go to both of these international events,” said Groff. Her team has played the Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, and Germany U16 national teams.

“My most memorable moment was definitely standing for the national anthem on the field in Belgium with the team. I was in the starting eleven against Belgium. There is no better feeling than being next to my teammates and best friends, while representing our country,” said Groff. Very few people, especially fifteen year olds, can say they’ve experienced moments like these.

“Being just fifteen years old and traveling across the US and going to Europe is unreal,” said Groff. On their trips the girls travel with just their teammates, coaches, and support staff. “It gives me the chance to be independent from my parents for the 7-12 days I would be at a camp,” said Groff.

The team is also a very close knit group of girls. Off the field, the girls keep in touch and try to hang out as much as possible. However, with girls from California, New Jersey, Utah, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maryland, Georgia, and Hawaii, “hanging out” may just be a Facetime call. “Our team has such fun moments off the field, which I think leads to our successful moments on the field,” said Groff.

These girls are still student-athletes and balancing school is a major struggle. “It is incredibly difficult to maintain good grades and manage my school work while I’m away,” said Groff. However, the girls wouldn’t be on the team if they couldn’t be responsible for their grades. When not on the field, the girls have designated time for study hall to keep up with the work they are missing.

Currently, the girls are in Germany and have won four out of the five games they have played. They beat Switzerland, Croatia, Belgium, and beat Germany the second time playing them.

Team USA has a bright future in women’s soccer due to the hard work and dedication of these young girls. Maybe one day we will see Katie Groff bringing home the gold, or even the World Cup, while wearing our country’s red, white,and blue.



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