Wells Continues Training with United States Under-23 Team
May 5, 2011
WASHINGTON - It really never gets old. In many ways, it's like that feeling waking up on Christmas morning when you were a kid and you raced downstairs to see if Santa left you presents or on Easter morning looking for your basket.
That's the feeling that Georgetown University junior women's soccer player Ingrid Wells (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) gets every time she gets a call up to participate in a camp with United States Soccer.
It's also a call that she's gotten used to getting as she has trained with the U.S. Under-23 three times since January, most recently traveling on Easter Sunday to California, where she spent a week with the team.
"It's obviously an honor to get called back in to camp and I love getting the opportunity to play at such a high level," Wells said. "It was a bit of a different feeling going into this camp because I knew there would be a lot of newer girls that had not been in with the 23's before and that I would one of the players with more experience on the team. Nonetheless, I get excited every time I am invited. It's a feeling that will never get old."
Wells earned First Team All-America honors after helping lead Georgetown to its best season in program history, reaching the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and finishing the 2010 campaign with a 15-7-2 overall record. The BIG EAST Conference Midfielder of the Year and a three-time All-BIG EAST First Team selection, Wells tied for the team lead in scoring with 28 points, setting a school single-season record for points in a season. Wells scored nine goals and recorded a team-high 10 assists. She finished tied for fifth in the BIG EAST in points (28, 1.17 per game), tied for third in assists (10, 0.42 per game) and tied for seventh in goals (9, 0.38). Nationally, Wells finished 25th in the country in total assists.
Because the Women's Professional Soccer season had started at that point in mid-April, Wells was among a small group of players who had been through training with the U-23 team previously. "Not having the WPS players at this camp was weird for me because it meant a bunch of my best friends that I was used to always going to camp with were not there," Wells said. "It also meant that it was a new, different group of girls playing together for the first time and that took some time to adjust to, getting on the same page and recognizing how one another played."
That experience that Wells has had with the U-23 team, however, paid off for her as Head Coach Bill Irwin tabbed her as one of the team's captains during the week.
"It is a role that was new for me in the National Team program and while I am not completely comfortable in it yet, it is a challenge I look forward to facing more in the future and developing as a player and person from," Wells said. "I believe my experience as a leader on the Georgetown team helped me embrace being a captain last week as the camp went on."
Often returned to as "The Little General" by Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan, a leadership role is not unusual for Wells, but it did take some adjusting, especially on the national level.
"Being a captain calls for you to be at your best all the time on and off the field because you are looked at as a representative of the team," Wells said. "I am not typically as vocal with the National Team as I may be at school and I think I am going to need to push myself to get over this in the future, whether I am a captain or not. Its things like this that push me to become a better player, and at the end of the day that is my goal."
The week-long training camp involved a series of games and sessions for the team and was the last time Wells will be called up before the end of the school year, but she is hoping for opportunities with the squad this summer.
"We had double days each day of camp with three games throughout the week against the U-20 team and two semi-professional teams and we won all three games and clicked more as a unit as the week went on," Wells said. "I'm pretty happy to be where I am right now, but I'm going to continue to work hard because I'm hoping to play an in international tournament with the team this summer."