With her last chance to leave her mark on the KO girls varsity soccer program, senior defender Ella Sokale is determined to make her final season her best.
Kicking a soccer ball since she was only five years old foreshadowed quite the career she would soon have. Making her way through the levels of developmental soccer, she now plays for Sporting CT, a nationally ranked program out of Middletown.
On previous travel teams, she has traveled all across the country, playing in soccer tournaments in Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. While traveling, she has played against girls like herself who will play collegiately and some even at the professional and national team level.
When she was in just seventh grade, Sokale had an especially standout year and was selected to go to a U.S. national team identification camp which helps bring the top players together across North America to start the proving stages for college coaches and national team selections.
Recently, Sokale committed to play college soccer at Johnson and Wales University. The Wildcats compete in the GNAC conference and play their home games in Providence. “I am very excited to be able to have the opportunity to play at Johnson and Wales and to play under Coach Flint,” Sokale said.
Head Coach Sal Penta has seen Sokale blossom in such a short span. Coming into his second season at the helm, he has gotten used to her playing style. “Ella just makes plays,” Coach Penta said. “And that’s how you win games really, small break-ups here and there. You can really tire out an opponent when you hustle. And she certainly does a lot of that.”
She has spent the last three seasons developing a fast-paced style that involves a lot of passing and allows for the whole offense to move quicker than their opponents. Starting with Sokale and ending with a goal in the back, the success that she has had on the pitch has been the reason for a lot of the success the team has had.
During the Wyvern’s first game of the season, Sokale tallied two assists in a 4-0 win over Wilbraham and Monson. Playing most of the game, she helped the girls take control of the game early, which was a keynote to the lopsided win.
During the past year, a challenge that Ella has faced is dealing with knee issues, specifically her patella. “With my patella, it’s been lingering for the last three years,” Sokale explained. “I have been doing PRP injections which is where they take blood from my arm, then they take plasma from that, and they inject it into the tear. Although it doesn’t heal it, it helps make it stronger, and ease the pain.”
During a game earlier this month versus Miss Porter’s School, Sokale suffered a season-ending injury where she tore her patella. Unfortunately, Ella will not be able to represent the Wyverns on the field, but she will certainly be a leader from the sidelines.