Athlete of the Week: ‘Jet’ a fixture in Poway High girls soccer program
By Michael Bower
For four years now, Bridget Wollrabe has been quietly going about her business on the Poway High soccer team. And while she is a girl of few words, her play on the pitch does more than enough talking.
“She is one of our four captains,” Poway girls soccer coach Jen Lalor-Nielsen said. “She has so much leadership on the field. She does not speak very much, but she leads through her actions. The other girls definitely respect her for what she does.”
Wollrabe, who earned the nickname “Jet” as a young girl because of her speed and the end of her first name, has been a fixture in the Titans’ program. The senior is the only player on the team that has been on the varsity squad all four years.
From the moment she put on a high school jersey in 2010, Wollrabe has been roaming the turf as the Titans’ offensive center midfielder. She will likely be in the same role when she takes her talents to Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida — an NCAA Division II college — next year.
“I have some family that lives in Florida, and when I went to visit it was really nice and I just fell in love,” Wollrabe said about her choice to go cross country for college. “I also met the coach and he is awesome. Everything just fell into place.”
Lalor-Nielsen has noticed a sense of calmness and ease in Wollrabe’s game since she has chosen a college.
“Her consistency level this year has been amazing,” Lalor-Nielsen said. “I feel a different vibe and now she knows where she is going to school so she doesn’t have to prove that much. I think last year college really weighed on her. This year, there is more of a sense of security in her play.”
After a slow start to the season, the Titans (4-6-1, 2-0-0 Palomar League through Tuesday) got back on track during the opening week of Palomar League play. Wollrabe was the driving force behind Poway’s two league victories last week.
She posted two assists in the Titans’ 3-1 win over Mt. Carmel and scored a goal in Poway’s 3-0 blanking of Canyon Crest Academy. For her efforts, she is the Pomerado News Athlete of the Week.
“It was really nice to start league out with two wins because our preseason didn’t go too well,” Wollrabe said. “To get a couple of huge victories was really nice.”
Wollrabe started playing soccer at the age of 5. Her mother, Jan, and father, Jeff, along with her older sister, Wendy, have all played soccer at some point. Jan still plays in a league, while Jeff will still play sparingly.
“My whole family is a soccer family so it just kind of clicked with me,” Wollrabe said.
She remembers watching her parents play soccer as a youngster and said those type of experiences helped shape her into the player she has become today.
“I think it helped me to see my mom and dad play,” Wollrabe said. “I would always go to kick around with my dad so getting to play with him and playing with old men who are fast helped me get better and develop my skills.”
And the Titans have been reaping the benefits for four years now. Wollrabe has improved steadily throughout her time at Poway. Lalor-Nielsen has noticed a big improvement in Wollrabe’s ability to be an offensive threat.
“The most improvement in her game is taking on more responsibility,” she said. “She has been scoring some goals for us this year and you can just see the difference in the level of our team when I take her off the field to rest her. She is the creator on our team. She really orchestrates a lot of the game for us.”
Wollrabe and the Titans will be back in action against rival Rancho Bernardo Friday at 7 p.m. at Poway High.
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