Freshman forward Alexa Adams makes immediate impact for Longhorns

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Freshman forward Alexa Adams tries to keep the ball away from an Ohio State defender on Aug. 30. Adams scored in the team’s win against UCLA on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Charlotte Carpenter | Daily Texan Staff

When freshman forward Alexa Adams strolls onto the soccer field, the lean freshman forward comes off as quiet.

“But she’s not,” senior goalkeeper Abby Smith said.

Around her teammates, her personality shines through.

“She’s dynamic,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “She has a wonderful personality.”

Adams is an 18-year-old from Lancaster, California. Saturday against then-ranked No. 8 UCLA, she scored the game-winning goal in the 61st minute. It was her first career goal, but she’s used to scoring. In four seasons at Quartz Hill High School, she racked up 102 goals.

“She certainly isn’t afraid to compete,” Kelly said.

Even though she’s willing to compete, Adams still battles the transition from high school and club soccer to playing Division I. The move was tough for her, but she’s not alone.
“I think it’s hard for everybody,” Smith said. “The transition is different for everyone coming away from home — so California for her — it’s a different environment.”

It’s a different environment with different weather and different teammates. It’s also 1,400 miles and a 4-hour, 15-minute plane ride away from her parents, Robert and LaDeana, and her 15-year-old sister, Carissa. When Adams was here for summer school, she got homesick. The support of her new teammates helped her cope.

“The teammates that we have here — they’re really supportive and help you through anything that you need,” Adams said.

It was her teammates who took her in when she missed home, Smith said. They showed her the best places to go out to eat in Austin. Now they have team bonding moments at their favorite restaurants, which include Baby A’s, Cabo Bob’s and Chick-fil-A.

“We always take the young ones under our wings and kind of just give her confidence to know that she can come on the field and contribute as much as possible,” senior forward Kelsey Shimmick said.

Adams’ teammates and Kelly can vouch that she’s a hard worker. She gives everything she’s got in practice, they say. She talks to volunteer assistant coach Kristine Lilly after practice about offensive tactics and ways to get better.

“Even during practice, she’ll pull me aside and be like, ‘Make this run better, spin out, get the ball, call for the ball,’” Adams said. “Just basic things like that.”

She’s still a freshman, but Kelly said she’s more than  just a freshman.

“When they step on campus, we consider them a Texas Longhorns soccer player,” Kelly said. “They’re no longer a freshman.”

Adams will probably play here for four years, so fans can watch her grow as a person and an athlete.

Her next step: The Longhorns’ (2-2-1) Thursday night match against Oregon State (4-0-1) at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

The last time Texas set foot on a field, it upset UCLA. Last time the Longhorns played at home, they didn’t score a goal. Against Oregon State, they hope their performances mirrors their showing against UCLA.

“There has to be a consistency to which you play and a consistency to which you perform,” Kelly said. “Championship programs play with consistency.”