Local Soccer Star Eyes World Cup and Olympics
Growing up in Melbourne, 22-year-old Katie Stengel has never had to take a break from soccer because of winter weather, or even had to play on cold turf. Since she was 4 years old, Stengel has followed in the footsteps of her favorite soccer player – her father. She grew up training with him and learning from his expertise.
Today, Stengel is a 2014 graduate of Wake Forest University in North Carolina with a degree in health and exercise science and a bright future in soccer. After her years of dedication to the game, Stengel was invited to join the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) in March 2014 as a forward.
“The entire experience is surreal because I get the opportunity to train with the best players in the nation. I have always looked up to these women, so training at their level is a great learning experience,” Stengel said.
This summer, she will be playing with the LA Blues and hopes to get the opportunity to continue to train with the full USWNT leading up to and in the World Cup and Olympics. She is also working to find a European team for which to play professionally this coming year.
Stengel is motivated to be the best soccer player she can be, despite challenges that may get in the way. Recently, she had been diagnosed with two deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in which a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in the body, causing her to miss the latter half of her college season. “That was a tough four months of not being able to play full contact, but since then, I’m healthy and playing harder than ever, since I know it could all end unexpectedly like it had seven months ago,” she said.