Aug. 21, 2009
WASHINGTON - The Jesuit philosophy of cura personalis, care of the whole person, suggests individualized attention to the needs of others, distinct respect for his or her unique circumstances and concerns, and an appropriate appreciation for his or her particular gifts and insights. For the Georgetown Women's Soccer team, appreciating redshirt sophomore midfielder Ingrid Wells' gifts and insights has not been a challenge.
The Upper Montclair, N. J. native spent her freshman season leading the Hoyas to their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth, amassing BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and Second Team NSCAA All-America accolades. The first Georgetown women's soccer player ever to achieve All-America status, Wells' play in 2008 drew attention from the U.S. U-20 National Team staff.
"After my freshman year I was really hoping to get a chance to play at one of the national pool camps," Wells said. "I wanted one opportunity and knew that if I was given the chance and didn't perform well enough, I could be happy with the fact that I was given a shot."
With the help of Head Coach Dave Nolan, Wells got her shot. She was invited to a national pool camp with the team in the spring, impressed the staff, and soon was offered a spot on the roster for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in November. In order to comply with NCAA regulations, Wells would be forced to redshirt if she chose to compete in the World Cup as it would prevent her from finishing her fall classes. The difficult decision was made easier by Nolan.
"It shows that even at a great learning institution such as Georgetown, you do not have to sacrifice your athletic goals for your academic goals and that is really a testament to Ingrid as a player and a person," Nolan asserted. "She has tremendous talent and is quietly confident in the way she goes about her business and this opportunity, coupled with the timing of it all, it really was a great situation for her."
Wells soon learned, however, that often with opportunity comes sacrifice. Forced to watch the season from the sidelines, she dealt with the frustration of being unable to contribute on the field. Instead, Wells learned to offer perspective to her teammates in training, serving as what Nolan calls, "our little general". During training sessions Wells kept the team in form, providing leadership both by example and by coaching her teammates.
The lessons she learned during the fall translated into success on the international stage in November, where Wells and the U.S. U-20 Women's National Team won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. Wells played a major role in the team's success, starting in the midfield for the majority of their matches.
"One of the reasons I feel we were able to win the tournament was our team chemistry," Wells said. "We had many players from less established college programs that our coaches trusted, and this made our team successful."
Just as the National Team used chemistry as a recipe for success, so too does Georgetown. Wells' individual success has helped younger players rise from the pack and receive national exposure, including sophomore midfielder Kelly D'Ambrisi, who was invited to a U-20 National Team camp last June.
"After my freshman year I found myself on my own," Wells reflects. "Playing internationally and experiencing a dream come true, but I was on my own. I feel like I really matured that year."
Wells returns to the Hilltop this fall as a redshirt sophomore, poised to take on one of the most challenging schedules in GU history. A more mature, focused player, she feels a precedent has been set within the program that must be continued.
"Making the tournament my freshman year was a huge achievement for us," Wells said. "It is not acceptable anymore for our program not to be selected to the tournament because I expect it of myself and my teammates."