RED SPRINGS — Red Springs girls soccer player Wendy Molina became the first athlete in program history to sign with a college team Thursday, as she filled out her letter of intent to to enroll at Louisburg College in the fall.
Molina, who will be a first-generation college student, made her decision official in front of teammates and family members gathered at the school’s media center.
“I’m proud of myself, that I got to reach this accomplishment,” Molina said.
Molina has been playing soccer since she was six years old. She said she began to see college soccer as an option near the end of her sophomore year.
Molina transferred to Red Springs, after spending her freshman year at St. Pauls. She quickly made an impression on Red Springs head coach Travis Wilson, who fought back tears as he recalled his three years with Molina.
“If you told me three years ago that Wendy would be here today, honestly I would not have believed you,” he said. “When Wendy first transferred in after her freshman year with St. Pauls, I didn’t know what to make of her. She was pretty quiet, reserved and a bit of a clown. She still is.
“I remember during the first week of practice that year, we were doing some drills and I saw (an assistant coach) yelling at her. He was making her take off and run laps for goofing around during the drill. I said ‘Oh my God, what has St. Pauls sent us here?’”
Molina went on to exceed expectations. She tallied 78 points with 32 goals and 14 assists in her three years with the Lady Red Devils.
She accounted for almost 70 percent of the team’s goals this season with 19.
“This is what we’ve been working for,” Wilson said. “She’s wanted it really bad. I’ve just been trying to make it happen for her. It’s great for the program and great for her. It’s great for the school in general. It’s huge.”
Molina said she is excited to have a chance to continue her soccer career.
“Coach told me I should go play over there (Louisburg), and that I’d have fun and stuff like that. ” Molina said. “I went to go check out the campus and I loved the campus.”
Louisburg, a member of the NJCAA, finished 7-7-2 last year.
Wilson said Molina’s mentality will help her succeed with the Hurricanes.
“She’s the toughest kid I’ve probably ever coached,” Wilson said. “She gets double teamed more often than not and she just fights through it. She never complains. She’s just going to battle.”
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.