Caroline Wysocki had done her share of traveling as a member of her elite U-18 club soccer team, the FC Stars of Massachusetts, so when it came time to look at colleges, the Agawam senior and honor student wanted to find a school close to home. Her parents couldn’t fault her reasoning, mom Colleen recalls: “She said, ‘If I’m going to be playing soccer for the next four years, I want you all to be able to come and watch me play.’ ”
No doubt they will. Colleen and her husband, Bill, will have to travel only as far as Durham, NH, for their daughter’s home games at the University of New Hampshire next fall. Caroline signed a national letter of intent to play for the Division 1 school in a ceremony Wednesday in the Dodge Room of the Reed Campus Center. As a bonus, her parents can still say their daughter is a Wildcat.
And one that will not soon be forgotten at Williston. “Caroline is one of the best overall athletes that I’ve ever coached,” says soccer coach Jen Fulcher. “She can be dangerous anywhere on the field. We put her up front, and she came up with numerous big goals, numerous game-winning goals, and was a threat from start to finish in every game.”
Indeed, Ms. Wysocki broke the Williston school record for most goals per game in a season, netting 15 in 16 games. That season total is also the second highest in school history.
Such success reflects a work ethic that impresses even her parents. “There were many nights when she would come home after sports practice at Williston,” her mother recalls, “and then go to Lancaster where her club team plays. You’ve got to be a pretty driven kid to be able to come home, sometimes at 10 or 10:30 at night, and then do your homework. I don’t think every kid could handle that, but she was able to. And she still made the honor roll.”
“I love to compete,” says Caroline, who was also recruited to play lacrosse. “And to create friendships with teammates and coaches that are like nothing else. Facing adversity can be difficult, but the positive energy from other people on my team keeps me going.”
One teammate she will miss is Emily MacDonald, who also signed a letter of intent Wednesday with Assumption College. The two have been playing together since they were 9 years old and together formed the core of a Wildcat team that will be hard to replace, says their coach.
Caroline and Emily “represent four-year impact players, both as people and as leaders—they were both captains of the team—and will certainly go down as two of the best players to play here,” Ms. Fulcher says. “They are the perfect balance of talent, personality, and leadership, and making everyone around them better.”
Caroline will be joining a UNH team coached by Steve Welham, who took over the program in 2014. Colleen said her daughter connected with Mr. Welham from their first meeting. “He was so enthusiastic about taking over the program, his vision going forward, and that was definitely another draw,” she says.
The Wysockis, both public school teachers, credit Williston with helping make their daughter’s next step possible. “Williston challenged her, athletically and academically, to a level she would not have experienced elsewhere,” says Colleen. “We cannot say enough about it. For us, it was a privilege to be able to have our daughter go there.”
View photos from the signing ceremony on Williston’s Flickr site.