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Scoring monumental goals

Junior Vyviene Spaulding raises funds for soccer tournament in Europe

Vyviene+Spaulding+%2815%29+stands+alongside+her+teammates.+Courtesy+of+Christi+Malvezzi.
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Scoring monumental goals

Vyviene Spaulding (15) stands alongside her teammates. Courtesy of Christi Malvezzi.

Vyviene Spaulding (15) stands alongside her teammates. Courtesy of Christi Malvezzi.

Vyviene Spaulding (15) stands alongside her teammates. Courtesy of Christi Malvezzi.

Vyviene Spaulding (15) stands alongside her teammates. Courtesy of Christi Malvezzi.

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She sprints across the field. Her heart pounds as she takes the ball closer to the goal. She scans for any potential obstacles before she passes to her teammate to her left. Finally, she takes a moment to catch her breath. But her time for rest quickly comes to a close as the ball comes flying back in the opposite direction.

Tired but determined, the adrenaline reminds Spaulding her resilience will pay off when she’s miles away competing in Europe.

Inspired by her sister’s passion for the sport, junior Vyviene Spaulding followed her footsteps and has been playing soccer since she was 4 years old. To Spaulding, the sport allows her to take her mind off any other stresses she may have going on in daily life.

“Whenever I play, my brain switches off and I’m not thinking about anything other than what I’m doing in that moment,” Spaulding said. “It’s like an escape.”

After moving from team to team, Spaulding currently plays for the Dallas Texans U17 Girls USSDA. The girls will embark on a trip to Europe during the summer to compete against teams around the world, including teams from England and Belgium.

“It’s basically a way to get [our] players to play against international players that don’t play the same way as how the United States players [would] play,” Spaulding said.

The Dallas Texans have traveled to Europe over the summer for the past 20 years. This year, the team will be going to two tournaments held in Denmark and Sweden. Not only will their trip be a competition that tests their training and skill, it will also provide an opportunity to learn about the cultures of the participating countries and their style of playing.

“I think [traveling] helps our players get familiar with other cultures, build friendships that last a lifetime and play a sport that they love,” head coach Hassan Nazari said.

Because expenses for flights, housing and food can be expensive for players, the team holds fundraisers to earn enough money to cover the trip. Spaulding has also started a gofundme to fund her personal travel expenses of the trip.

“For myself like just for all my expenses, it’s about like $4,000,” Spaulding said.

Spaulding is provided with endless support from her friends, family and teammates who continue to motivate her as she competes in Europe. Spaulding’s godsister, junior Kalyn Greene, has been especially supportive of her burning passion for the sport since the day she discovered it.

“It’s something new for my sister to be able to get out of the country and be able to experience something with a whole lot of different people and different skills,” Greene said. “Everything there is a bonding situation and I love that for her.”

Playing for her team and for herself, Spaulding’s trip will be a learning experience with opportunities to grow as a player, teammate and friend. Her friends, family and coaches are certain her work ethic will take her even further than her tournament in Europe.

“It’s really important to me,” Spaulding said. “I feel like when I don’t play or get hurt, I just feel really shut down like something’s missing or there’s something I need to do that I can’t do.”

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Scoring monumental goals