With playoffs underway, soccer season will soon wrap up for local high school teams. But Macy Rutledge’s soccer career is far from over.
The captain of the West Stokes women’s soccer team signed last week to play soccer for Pfeiffer University.
Rutledge has been playing soccer since she was 4 years old. She has played on the school team all four years at West, this year as captain. She also plays for a travel team, NC Fusion Elite.
She signed to play for Pfeiffer with family, friends and school staff present.
“It’s late in the process, but I was taught to always go for my dreams,” Rutledge noted.
Rutledge said she has always wanted to play soccer in college, and it is a relief to know she will get to play at the next level.
Her parents, Randy and Joy, have high praise for their daughter.
“I’m very proud that she’s going to play college soccer,” said Joy. Of Pfeiffer, Joy said, “I think it’s a nice fit for her.”
Randy said, “We’re just really proud of her. I know she’s worked really hard.”
“She’s a team player on and off the field,” Joy added. “She’s pretty grounded in her faith, and that will carry her far.”
Coach Chris Manley said he is also proud of Rutledge. He coached her when she was 6 years old and has coached her all four years at West Stokes. He said, “She’s always strived to play on the highest level.”
Manley noted that few girls get to play soccer at the collegiate level. He said Rutledge has a strong work ethic and God-given talent.
Rutledge has played attacking center mid most of her years on the field, but this year at West she was put back on defense as a center back.
“With her back there we shattered them all,” said Manley of defensive records.
Rutledge’s high school sports experience could have been quite different. In middle school, she played softball and basketball. But at the high school level she had to make a choice between softball and soccer.
“It was definitely the right one,” said Rutledge of choosing soccer. “I could see myself playing soccer in the future.”
She continued, “It’s just been my passion … That’s where I feel like I’m at home.”
Rutledge plans to study exercise science in college. She explained, “Sports has been my whole life.”
This year Rutledge helped lead her team to a conference championship. The team expected a strong run in the playoffs.
“I’m proud of my girls,” said Rutledge. “We’ve faced a lot of challenges.”
Manley said, “She’s been the heart of our team. She’s a true leader.”
Rutledge’s best friend and former West Stokes player Kelsey Perrell attended the signing. Perrell said she has seen Rutledge’s hard work, and it is amazing to see how it has paid off.
“She’s gonna be able to step up and be a big asset,” said Perrell.
As a college soccer player herself, Perrell said she will share some tips with her friend about playing at the next level.
Mother Joy said that as long as her daughter gets to keep playing soccer, “She’ll be happy.”