By Daniel Wallace
Free-spirited, lively, team-oriented, intellectual, carefree and dominant were some of the words used to describe freshman midfielder Alexa Wilde by her head coach and teammates.
In just four games this season, Wilde has already scored three goals, tying her with junior Dana Larsen for the team lead. Although the season is young, the 5-foot-8-inch athlete has already proven to be one of the most dominant players on the field.
“Alexa is already probably our best player in front of the goal, heading on goal, in terms of goal scoring on set pieces. She’s been doing really well on that,” head coach Marci Jobson said.
Wilde comes to Baylor from Naperville, Ill. where she excelled in both soccer and basketball in high school. She was recruited by Jobson, who convinced her to come see Baylor for herself. Wilde said she immediately fell in love and knew this was the place she wanted to be.
“Once she introduced Baylor to me, I never turned back,” Wilde said. “I came down here and visited the campus. I really liked it. It’s very pretty.”
She left three younger siblings behind in Illinois, along with the freezing temperatures and harsh winters; she is looking forward to experiencing some warmer winters down here in Texas.
Wilde has known soccer her whole life, starting at the age of four. As a freshman in high school, she did not make the varsity soccer team. Although she was admittedly mad at first, she is thankful for the hardship she went through and what she gained from the experience of not being able to play the game she loves so much.
“I learned that adversity was better for me in the end because it brought a competitive side out of me that has now become a part of me. I like that part of me. It has helped me in all areas of my life, not just soccer,” Wilde said.
She said not being able to play on the varsity squad allowed her to learn what being a true competitor means. She developed a no-quit attitude and the next year found herself starting on the varsity team.
“Someone who has taken something unfortunate and created their own fortune out of it or seen it as an opportunity rather than just a negative consequence” is what a hero or a role model is to her, Wilde said. She is now a role model for younger girls who might be experiencing the same adversity she had to deal with.
When she is not prevailing in the air or setting up on set pieces and corners, the dominant midfielder enjoys anything else outdoors. She likes to be active and enjoys other sports such as basketball and tennis. Wilde also plans to pursue a career in either the medical or engineering field.
Wilde’s teammates say she is a joy to be around and love to have fun. Junior Carlie Davis said she has been essential to the team chemistry, and she loves the way Wilde plays so freely.
“She just marches to the beat of her own drum,” Davis said. “She doesn’t really care what people think about her. She’s just fun and full of life and energy the whole time, and is always making people laugh.”
Jobson has high hopes for her midfielder and is excited to see her progression over the next year and what she can bring to Baylor. She knows Wilde will go far because of her willingness to learn and eagerness to improve.
“She’s a student of the game,” Jobson said. “We can give her a pointer and she will improve on it immediately. She really learns quickly,.”
Coaches and teammates say Wilde looks poised to have a bright future on and off the soccer field in her time at Baylor. On the field, she can continue to be a commanding force for her team. Off the field, her teammates enjoy her energy.