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Oct, 2019

ISC Alum Christina Trickett Overcomes Injuries to Become a Star at UCF

Internationals SC alumna Christina Trickett has accomplished a lot in her young career.  She’s a true winner in every sense of the word.   She has a number of championships under her belt, including OHSAA Division I and II state championships, a Super Y U14 national championship, and a U12 State Cup championship. 

That’s a lot of hardware for the redshirt sophomore, but Trickett has done even more when you look at her individual accomplishments.  She was an All-Conference selection at Walsh Jesuit HS, a U.S. Soccer Training Center attendee, a Super Y Nationals ODP Camp attendee, a two-time ECNL Player Development Program iD2 Midwest camp attendee, and most importantly, a U19 U.S. Women’s National Team Camp attendee.  As you can see, she has done just about everything, but she is actually just getting started.

It’s not a surprise that the Independence, Ohio native was a highly coveted recruit coming out of high school.  She had plenty of offers from Division I schools, but she chose to continue her career at Central Florida for a myriad of reasons.

“I chose UCF because of the coaches; they understand soccer and actually try to possess the ball,” Trickett said. “It is a place where I knew I could grow not only as a soccer player, but also as a person. They have a family atmosphere and everyone on the team looks out for one another.  It is about more than soccer, and they try to care for the growth of everyone as a person.”

UCF women's soccer head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak is happy that Trickett is part of the UCF program. 

“Christina is such a creative player," Sahaydak said. "She possesses excellent technique and decision-making. She’s dangerous anywhere in midfield because of her ability to play out of pressure and find key passes to facilitate the attack.”

Trickett has been a standout for UCF, starting seven games and playing 535 minutes this fall.  She’s battled injuries the past two seasons, but made 14 appearances for the Golden Knights back in 2016.  Overcoming a serious injury was quite the experience for Trickett.

“I learned so much about soccer and watched more soccer than I ever have,” Trickett said.  “I worked on mentally thinking about the game and envisioning what I could do once I returned. I was a student of the game in my time off and did what I could physically to not fall off from what I had prior. I was there for my teammates and helped them in any way I could, so I learned how to be grateful for what you have. I also stayed true to myself and never gave up which will help me not only in soccer, but also in life." 

She admittedly has gained a lot from her time in the collegiate game.  

“I have learned an immense amount,” Trickett added.  “I have learned about teamwork no matter what and how to persevere and never give up if you have the belief in yourself.  Do everything with passion and confidence because that is what carries each person in what they set their mind to.”

Two big moments in her career have actually come this season.  The first was facing off against former teammates at Ohio State on August 28th.  Alyssa Baumbick and Olivia Petit joined Trickett on the field, but this time they were opponents.  The end result was a 1-1 draw with the Buckeyes. 

“It was a great experience,” Trickett explained. “We were teammates for so long.  Off the field it is great to see them, but on the field, we battled it out and played hard against each other.  The respect is always there, as they are both great players, so we brought it to the field and played our best.  The experience was amazing because it is not often you get to play against your past teammates of many years.”

The second milestone was beating archrival Florida 2-0 on September 8th. 

“Beating Florida was great,” Trickett noted. “It was a tough battle, but we stayed focused on our goal and came together as a team to fight to the end.”

Trickett has earned the reputation as a midfielder that can make an impact anywhere on the field.  She’s strong defensively, but can also make a difference in the attack.

“As a player I would say I am technical and savvy,” Trickett continued. “I work to get the ball forward and keep possession of the ball.  I enjoy watching Manchester City play, and the way they move the ball is what we strive to do here at UCF.  Keeping the ball and being an offensive-minded aggressive player is the generalized type of player that I strive to be every day.”

All of this success can be traced back to her time with Internationals SC. 

“They helped with training me to be the best player that I can be,” Trickett said. “They put together great trainings mimicking the U.S. Women’s National Team and they would focus on both tactical and technical.  Zdravko Popovic would even have extra weightlifting sessions to try and help in any way possible.  They helped put us against great competition that we would see in college and they supported our decisions when we decided on our schools.”

Trickett was quick to point out the influence of two coaches early in her career.

“Keri Sarver and Zdravko Popovic were my mentors at Internationals SC,” Trickett said. “They helped me to strive for greatness and hone my skills as a soccer player.  We played a beautiful style of possession, and I had great training sessions.  They helped to fuel my love for soccer even more and I am forever grateful for that.  I achieved some of my greatest moments and goals playing for them.  Aside from soccer they pushed each one of us to focus not only on soccer, but also on academics and being the best version of ourselves.  I appreciate everything they did for me as a soccer player and person.”

Sarver shared her praise for the player and person that Trickett has become. 

“Christina is one of the first generation of players that I coached basically though her entire youth career (U11-U19),” Sarver said. “Her technical ability and soccer intelligence, even at a young age, helped me to become a better and more thoughtful coach.  It pushed me to find ways to develop our best players, such as Trickett.  She contributed greatly to our success during her time with the club. Her training habits and attention to detail were of the highest standard.  And her ability to unlock a defense with her vision, final passing and finishing ability was fun to watch and a luxury as a coach. It broke my heart to see her suffer through injury for so long and I am so proud of the grit and perseverance she has shown to come back and contribute at such a high level with a program like UCF.”

She also found great value in playing for Internationals SC in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL).

“Playing in the ECNL had me playing against top competition and athletes that would also be entering the Division I college program,” Trickett concluded. “Each game was at a high level, not as quick paced as the college level, but a great level to help get ready and used to what would be to come in college.”

Trickett has never slowed down despite all of the obstacles she’s faced in her career.  She’s worked hard and never lost sight of her goals.  And today she is an elite Division I player that is enjoying her time in the American Athletic Conference with one of the top women’s soccer programs in the country.

Photo Credit: UCF Athletics

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