Deacon Sportlight: Alex Wood

The freshman striker led the women’s soccer team in goals


Evan Harris

Alex Wood, a freshman sensation on the women’s soccer team, poses in front of Wait Chapel.

Prarthna Batra, Staff Writer

Freshman powerhouse and forward Alex Wood ended Wake Forest’s soccer season tied for the team lead with five goals. Home for Wood is Huntington Beach, California. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Alex a few days ago to talk about all things soccer.

Why Wake Forest?

The recruitment process started for me probably in my sophomore year of high school. That was when we first started talking to coaches. Before that, I had been emailing a bunch of colleges to come to my games and watch my games. In 2018, my team took a trip to North Carolina to play some soccer games, and my team toured Wake Forest — that was the first time I saw it. I really liked the campus, and we also got to meet the coaches, and then my sophomore year, we started talking to the coaches. I really liked the coaching staff, and they gave me a really good scholarship that my parents liked, and it just ended up clicking. It matched all the boxes that I wanted in school. I also always wanted to play in the ACC, where not just soccer, but all sports are so competitive. It just all worked out.

How was the transition from high school to college soccer?

I think the biggest thing was the speed of play because everyone in college is stronger and faster, and some people are much older than you. Getting used to the speed of play and how your touch needs to be perfect or else you might lose is what I have been trying to learn. D-1 soccer is just a higher level of strategy and competition. It is insane how talented every single player we face is—they move just as fast as they seem to when you watch them from the stands or at home. The challenge is really fun and a huge step up from high school,

What was your favorite moment this past season?

It was definitely when we beat Clemson 4-1 and I got the tying goal in that game. That was definitely a very exciting moment for our team, and it was really fun. It was really cool to score a crucial goal

in such a highly anticipated game.

What’s your outlook for the next season?

Next season, I think we will build off this season. We are getting a few more players, and one of the new players was on my club team in high school. She is really good. I think that we will be able to fill up this season and overall improve as a team.

Who is your favorite soccer player or athlete that you look up to?

My favorite female soccer player growing up was Tobin Heath, and she was on the national team. My jersey number was 17 in high school because I wanted to be like her and really liked the way she played. My favorite men’s soccer player is Ronaldo. That is a basic answer, but I feel like everyone is either a Ronaldo or Messi person.

Can you describe your relationship with your coach and teammates?

The relationship between my teammates and I is like a family. Everyone is really welcoming here. What I really like about the coaches here is that they try to become really close to us and like to get to know us personally, rather than just be our coaches, and that really helps. When they’re actually coaching us, it’s like you know them on a personal level.

How do you balance being a college 

student, a student-athlete and also a person with a social life ?

I’m still definitely learning the skill of time management, but something like making sure you have your homework done before you go away for an away game is really important. Trying to stay on top of all your work and communicating with your professors when you are missing classes is also really important.

Have you faced any adversity as a soccer player and how do you overcome that?

I think injuries are the biggest adversity an athlete can face and I’ve definitely had a few injuries. My worst one in the past few years was probably when I broke my foot last year and so I couldn’t play for a few months. It was during my final year of high school, and because of my injury, I had to miss out on my senior season, which was really sad. I think getting through an injury is a really mental process and when you are coming back from it, you just have to push through it, and it is going to be rough in the beginning, but you will get through it and get your touch back.

What does a typical day in your life look like as an athlete?

I’ll describe a typical Tuesday. A typical day in my life when we are in season is that we wake up at 7 in the morning for lift, and then our weightlifting sessions are usually an hour long. I then go back 

to my dorm, shower and go to my classes for the day. I have calculus and writing on Tuesdays. After that, we will usually go into the coaches office to do film sometimes, or go to the field to get an extra training in. 4 p.m. is our practice time and we practice till around 6 p.m. I usually get dinner, shower and then finish all my homework for the night.

What is the most important thing you have learned from your coaches and teammates?

I think the most important thing so far that I’ve learned is how to manage time because it has been really hard having to balance season games, practices, film, and, at the same time, trying to keep grades up.

Can you please describe the atmosphere on Wake Forest’s women’s soccer team?

The atmosphere on our team is really positive because everyone is really close and treats everyone involved like family. You always have people you know will have your back and are your lifelong friends now. It is really nice to have this group of people because we can all relate to each other and what the other is going through.