WPFC Alumna selected PAC 10 player of the week
(October 13, 2010) - The Oregon State women’s soccer team is on a roll this year, off to their best season in program history after making it all the way to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen last year. But if you look past the seven shutouts, two-goal-per-game average and 9-1-1 record, there’s one glaring detail: the Beavers have only one senior.
Defender and midfielder Courtney Wetzel, born and raised in Puylallup, Wash., fell into the assumed leadership role following last season, and hasn’t looked back.
"It’s not lonely, being the only senior," Wetzel said. "We all hang out and get along great, so I don’t notice it much. But it is weird to think about, that I’m all alone as a senior."
"Courtney’s a tremendous asset for the team," remarked head coach Linus Rhode. "Being the only senior, she’s really done a good job keeping us together."
Along with her unique position on the team, Wetzel was also granted the opportunity to train for a week with the United States U-23 team this past summer when the national team came to town to compete against Oregon State and Portland. The senior even recorded an assist on the game-winning goal against Portland.
"That experience has helped me a lot this season, I had a great time and learned a lot," Wetzel said. "Not many people can say they’ve done that, so it’s a plus for me."
Wetzel remembers playing soccer as young as three years old, kicking a Nerf ball around with her sister at various indoor arenas around their neighborhood. It wasn’t until age eight that Wetzel started to get serious, when she joined the FC Royal, a club team in Washington.
"When I first started, I was eight playing with 11- and 12-year-olds, and I was the little tiny one," Wetzel said. "It’s strange to think about now, because the role has been reversed and now I’m the oldest one on the team."
As a member of FC Royal, Wetzel and her teammates took home five state titles, as well as placing first in two prestigious European cups, the Dana and Gothia Cups.
"Playing when you’re younger, you win five championships like that and you think everything’s going to be easy," Wetzel says with a laugh. "But then you get to college, and you’re a freshman who’s not starting. Everything’s much harder."
Along with the FC Royal, Wetzel has played for the Washington Olympic Development Program, where her team won nationals in 2004 and made it to the finals in 2005.