Feb. 5, 2018
By Brad Muller | More Features
After earning multiple individual honors while helping South Carolina win its second straight SEC Championship and reach the Women’s College Cup Semifinals for the first time, Grace Fisk has already put together a soccer resume that would make many athletes envious. What’s more impressive is that she’s only a sophomore and recently captained England’s U-20 Women’s National Team at the Nike Friendlies in Florida.
“You know that not many people get this opportunity,” Fisk said. “It’s so rare, and every time I put on [England’s] jersey, I know how lucky I am.”
What she does on the pitch has nothing to do with luck, however. The skilled native of Bromley, London, transferred to South Carolina from Penn State last year and immediately made an impact at center back by helping the Gamecocks record a school single-season record 16 shutouts. She was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and earned First-Team All-America honors. She also scored three goals, including the game-winner in South Carolina’s 2-0 victory over No. 16 Florida in the NCAA quarterfinals.
“We had a really successful year,” Fisk said. “I think the best part was just being part of such a great team that was able to achieve great things. I think having such a good year with the team really boosted my confidence.”
I just try to be responsible and lead by example on the pitch.
That confidence carried over into her international play as she helped England’s U-20 team win the tournament in Florida after playing U.S.A. to a 3-3 draw, and then capturing wins over Brazil and Finland. Playing on the international stage is nothing new for Fisk, having previously played more than 30 matches for England’s women’s national team at the U-15, U-17, U-18 and U-19 levels. However, representing her country never gets old.
“It’s definitely a thrill to represent England,” Fisk said. “The coaches make it clear that no selection is guaranteed. You’re always waiting for the call up, and it’s always a huge honor to play for your country.
“Being the captain is a great privilege to me. I try my best to not lose myself as a player. I just try to be responsible and lead by example on the pitch. I just try to put everything into everything I do.”
Even with all the accolades and opportunities, Fisk said she still has work to do to improve her game.
“I’m grateful that in the spring we get a lot of time for individual development,” Fisk said. “I really want to work on playing out from the back and be able to give defenders the task of defending me. Set pieces are something I can improve on as well. I’m very excited for the spring, and hopefully I can deliver these improvements in the fall.”
Fisk noted that playing international competition will help her prepare for next season with the Gamecocks.
“I just had the chance to play U.S.A, Brazil, and Finland, so I had the chance to play against completely different attackers and styles of play,” Fisk said. “I think that definitely helps me prepare for the season because I’ve adapted to different types of players.”
Fisk is looking forward to competing with England at the U-20 World Cup next summer in France.
“We’ll be training as a team at a few camps,” Fisk said. “We’ll go to La Manga, Spain, in April for a prep-camp. After that, there’s a transition to seniors, if we’re good enough.”
Having the opportunity to be a part of England’s senior Women’s National Team is another goal she’d like to add to her resume.
“I’m grateful to be where I’m at with the 20s right now,” Fisk said. “I’ll keep working hard, and if I get called up one day, it will be great day.”
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