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When Life Changes, Soccer Remains

Fredericksburg Impact Feature –

Thursday, June 14, 2012

By Scott Wyant

. - It’s not hard to find the heart of the Fredericksburg Impact. In games she wears No. 2 and in practice she’s very vocal. For Missy Wycinsky the W-League environment combines two things the veteran enjoys: soccer and competition.

“I would play full contact scrabble if it was possible. I love being competitive and being in a really intense endeavor,” Wycinsky said. “To be able to play competitive women’s soccer, there is just nothing better in the world than that, so it’s great.”

The Impact have thrived with their newfound fire. Due in part to the addition of Wycinsky, they have vastly improved in their second W-League season with a record of 3-1-0. As a veteran on the team and a friend of coach Jen Woodie, Wycinsky has stepped up and provided that fire that was missing a year ago, with leadership mixed in.

“There is a fair amount of responsibility to make sure everybody is pressing and playing hard and pushing ’cause I don’t want to let my friend down, who’s an excellent coach,” Wycinsky said.

After playing in the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) with familiar names such as Julie Foudy, Joy Fawcett and Shannon Boxx, Wycinsky left to earn her law degree at the University of Richmond.

As her teammates get older she wants them to remember one thing: soccer will always be there.

“I hope some of the young players see that you can come out here at 34, still feel young, be young, be active and still have a good solid job, be married and have this great life that you’re happy with and still find time for [soccer],” Wycinsky said.

With players fresh out of high school, in college, as well as players with families of their own, the dynamic creates an environment that most teams don’t have. The age difference has never been a divider for the Impact.

“It’s really easy to push you’re team because it feels like a team,” Wycinsky said.

She is also able to take something away from her college age teammates.

“It’s like being 20 again.”

If her word isn’t enough, after the Impact practice with rain beginning to fall Wycinsky jumps up after the breakdown from Woodie and instructs her teammates to take their cool down jog. Not only that but she’s the first on the line as her young teammates follow her lead. As they wrap up the jog Wycinsky yells out, “one more!”

To Wycinsky it’s not just a drill, practice or game it’s more than that and it shows.

“Soccer for anybody that really loves it is a refuge from real life,” Wycinsky said.

When a team full of passionate athletes has that same outlook, victories follow. But most importantly a family is formed.

“At my wedding most of my soccer teammates were there and my coach; my coach has been at most of my friend’s weddings,” Wycinsky said. “It is family. So for me being on a team again like this, where I do have a lot of friends, it’s taking a step back 15 years and it’s great.”

Although Wycinsky has thought about if she should stop playing she goes back to one basic question.

“I wonder sometimes, am I pathetic or am I just having a good time? I choose to think I’m still having a good time,” Wycinsky said.

After the interview ended and the raindrops fell harder, this reporter headed back to his car, parked at the wrong field. While running back I hear, “Scott, need a ride?” As a mini van full of Impact players comes to a stop, a door opens and the players move around to make room.

Although I will never participate in a practice drill, that family attribute extended out to me and that’s something Wycinsky and the Impact can be proud of.

Fredericksburg set to face Dayton for first time on Thursday
The Impact (3-1-0) will host the Dayton Dutch Lions (0-3-1) on Thursday, at 6 p.m., at the University of Mary Washington.

Fredericksburg is coming off its first loss of the season last Saturday, 3-2, against the D.C. United Women. United scored early, but Becca Wann answered with her third goal in two games a few minutes later, off an assist from Wycinsky. D.C. pulled ahead 3-1 before Sandra Matute capped off the scoring with a penalty kick goal in the 68th minute.

Dayton also tied on Saturday, 1-1 against the visiting Virginia Beach Piranhas, to earn its first point of the season. Jen Agueci scored the Dutch Lions’ goal, while goalie Katherine Markesbery registered nine saves.

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