A boom echoed across the soccer field at ABAC. The perpetrator: Jodie Corless kicking the hell out of the ball, rocketing it to a collision with the cross bar.
Corless honed her skills in the rainy English climate and on the uneven turf of Manchester, England, where the weather can be as dependable as a chocolate teapot.
Corless talked about the move to Tifton: “Adjusting to the heat has been the hardest part; the weather is also much more reliable.”
While the heat has been one of the toughest aspects that Corless had to get used to, the fields here are better maintained and allow Corless and her style of play to shine. “The turf down here is much better than back home. It’s much smoother and easier to play on,” she said.
“Soccer is so much bigger in America than back home. I always dreamed of coming here and playing.”
Since the U.S. women’s soccer team won the World
Cup in 1996, women’s soccer has boomed in the United States. This has been drawing players from all over the world to play college ball in the states.
One of the main differences between women’s soccer in England and the US, is that in America coaches focus more on conditioning, while our friends across the pond center their efforts on ball skills. It shows in all of ABAC’s players from England. Their footwork abilities are better than that of their American teammates.
Corless received her nickname “Rooney” after the famed soccer player Wayne Rooney. The name arises from their similar styles of play and the fact that he plays for Manchester United soccer team, which is Corless’ home team.
Corless is excited to finally be playing ball in America, and expects a great season for herself and the team.