Cecelia Wager gains confidence through soccer and helps lead team to success



Senior Cecelia Wager started playing soccer ever since she could walk. Her hardwork and dedication has payed off, as next year she will be playing soccer at Vassar College.

Familiar shouts echo across the soccer field. It’s the player who’s not afraid to make her voice heard. This voice, that seems so strong and fearless, wasn’t always there. This confident player was once a girl who was afraid to leave the safety of her comfort zone.

Soccer has always been a part of senior Cecelia Wager’s life. Her parents met playing soccer and she’s played ever since she could walk. Wager currently plays center-back for the girls varsity soccer team. Next fall, she will continue to play soccer at Vassar College.

Early on, Wager said soccer helped her get out of her shell. When she started playing, she was one of the only girls on co-ed teams and at soccer camp. Wager said learning how to deal with unfamiliar territory helped her gain courage. She said most of her confidence and growth came when she learned that she needed to communicate with her teammates.

“Growing up, I was always a super shy kid. I had a hard time pushing myself out of my comfort zone,” Wager said. “Soccer has shown me that my voice is one of the most important tools that I have and I should use it. If you ever watch a game, I’m sure you’ll hear me screaming at the top of my lungs.”

Girls varsity soccer coach Ben Peters said he has seen remarkable growth in Wager throughout the past three years he has known her.

“She started as a freshman, very timid and only played some games, but we slowly realized what type of player she was and I’m not sure she came off the field after a certain point in her freshman year,” Peters said.

Although Wager’s confidence has grown, she said that each time she steps on the field, she still feels pressure to do everything she can to help her teammates succeed.

“The hardest thing about playing soccer is learning to deal with disappointment because whenever you make a mistake, especially me, I feel like I’m letting my teammates down,” Wager said.

One of these teammates is senior Talia Thompson, who has known Wager since second grade and has played soccer with her for almost seven years. Thompson said she has a front row view of Wager’s interactions with her teammates.

“She’s always talking and she always knows the right thing to say. She helps people out when they’re unsure of what to do,” Thompson said.

Thompson said because of her close friendship with Wager, she is able to see things that others don’t.

“She’s one of the best soccer players I know and she’s always doing the right thing, but she never shows it to anyone else,” Thompson said. “I recognize it, but I know she doesn’t talk about it. She just stays humble all the time.”

Soccer has helped Wager grow, but that growth comes from time and hard work. Wager’s days consist of school, soccer practice, dinner, homework and then bed. And the next day, she wakes up and does it all over again. Wager said that she doesn’t regret the long hours because of how much soccer means to her.

“Having a good routine is something that I had to get used to really quickly because if you don’t have a good routine, you’re not getting something done and you’re putting something at risk,” Wager said.

Wager said one of the reasons she decided on Vassar was because she knew she would be able to make an impact on their team. Peters said Wager’s supportive nature and confidence has already left a lasting mark on her current teammates.

“Now, as a senior leading our backline, she is oozing confidence and it bleeds out into the rest of the team too,” Peters said. “She just makes everyone around her more confident.”