Technicality and creativity lead to Isabella Engle’s soccer success

Jane Porter, staff writer

As soon as Isabella Engle was thrown onto the soccer field, she found love at first kick. With the help of her youth soccer coaches, Engle was able to combine this love and passion for her sport with commitment and hard work, landing herself on the Edina High School varsity soccer team for their 2021 season in her freshman year. 

On Keliix Intra, a traveling youth soccer club, Engle worked hard to perfect her skills and continue to get better. “One of my biggest attributes [to the team] I think is my dedication and working off the field and outside team practices,” Engle said. 

 Outside of the school season, Engle plays for Minnesota Thunder Academy (MTA), a soccer club that strives to develop not only successful soccer players, but successful people as well. Engle acknowledged how much soccer affects her daily life and perspective. “I want to become the best version of myself that I can be, so that really inspires me to keep working hard so that I can achieve my goals,” Engle said. 

During this past season, Engle was coached by Katie Aafedt, a longtime head varsity coach and EHS soccer program runner. “Izzy is the most technical player I have ever coached. She has the ability to cut on a dime and has moves that frequently leave the coaching staff in awe,” she said. However, Engle’s passion and commitment to the game came along with her positive attitude, which Aafedt was quick to notice. “Off the field, she works so hard and is always so happy. She can brighten the mood in any situation,” Aafedt said. 

This brightness is noticed by everyone on her team. Aafedt emphasized that this season, the team was able to get incredibly close and had amazing chemistry on and off the field. Engle stated that one of her favorite things was just being able to spend time with the amazing people she got to share the field with. “Every time we’re together I feel at home…they are my second family,” Engle said. 

Taking inspiration from her favorite players, like Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, she tries to get creative with the ball and how she plays, putting time into her sport even during the off-seasons. “[I] work off the field and outside of team practices…which I think has really helped me develop as a player,” Engle said. 

Engle hopes to go on to play D1 or D2 soccer in college. Aafedt explains that this is one of the reasons she enjoys coaching Engle so much, saying that she has a “Division I soccer IQ.” Engle believes that if she continues to work as hard as she does now, she will be able to play professionally after her college career. “Soccer plays such a large role in my everyday life because it’s just such a big part of who I am,” Engle said.