MRHS Soccer Player Chosen for Olympic Development Program
She will travel with the team to Russia in March
Each morning before a soccer match, Alexis Urbanski, 16, of Aberdeen, follows the same routine.
She showers right when she wakes up and applies her blue eyeliner and black mascera while listening to her favorite music. She eats Fruit Loops for breakfast and then half a peanut butter sandwich on the way to the field. She walks down to the field, each and every time, in her Nikes. She completes her pre-game work out while wearing a warm-up shirt and doesn't switch into her jersey until right before the game. She tapes her left wrist and both her socks with blue electrical tape. Then, she's ready to take the field.
And while this ritual may seem extensive, it sure has paid off. Urbanski not only plays for the MRHS girls soccer team, played for the PBA Celtics for the last eight years and recently joined the World Class Academy, but also plays for the state team through the NJ Youth Soccer Associates and was chosen to be a player for the Olympic Development Program.
The selection process wasn't easy. First, Urbanski had to make the state team and then attend a summer camp at University of Rhode Island for five days to try-out for the program.
Each day at camp, the girls had between three and five training sessions. Each night, the coaches posted a pool list, with all the players who were still being considered for the program as of that day.
This year was Urbanski's fourth year trying out and first year making the team. According to Urbanski, she almost didn't return to camp this year, but made a last minute decision that changed her career.
"Literally four days before camp I called my coach and asked if I could go because I thought my summer would be different without it," Urbanski said. "Once I learned I was on the pool (team roster), I was so happy and so excited that I made the last second decision to come."
As an added bonus, many of Urbanski's teammates from the New Jersey state team also made the ODP this year. The girls will be traveling to Russia to play against teams from all over the world in March, something Urbanski is looking forward to.
"You don't really get to go overseas for soccer very often and I've been waiting to get on this team for a long time," she said.
The trip to Russia lasts ten days, with a game every other day. On their off days, the team will have two training sessions and the opportunity to do some sightseeing.
More excited than nervous, Urbanski said she can't wait to travel and get to know the other girls on her team.
Urbanski is an outside defender, which means she is a defender who gets forward in the attack and makes wide runs up the field. It is her job to assist as many goals as possible by getting the ball near the goal and helping to set up offensive plays.
Urbanski can't remember how she started playing soccer, but can remember always having a love for the sport.
"I tried softball for like a season," she said, shrugging. "But that was really it. I never really had time to do other sports; I play soccer five to seven times a week."
Urbanski plans to continue playing soccer in college and has verbally committed to Seton Hall University where she hopes to study criminal justice and then forensic science.