Eastside FC alumni Sophia Wagner was a core member of Tom Bialek’s storied G95 Red team, the rare athlete who “leaves everything on the field in training and games.” Sophia was “the kind of person who built team chemistry and her teammates loved her.” Read on to see how humble and reflective Sophia is on her time at Eastside and the ways she has translated her strong athletic success into the academic and professional worlds.
EFC: Tell us about what you are currently doing?
SW: I currently live in Seattle and still play soccer with some of my old EFC teammates! I’m a social entrepreneur and recently began studying software development. I’m a co-founder of mightydeposits.com, an award-winning platform that uses public data to let you see what any bank or credit union in the US does with your money and find banking options that match your values. I’m currently studying at Ada Developers Academy, an equity-focused coding school for women and gender expansive adults. Coincidentally, one of my classmates is an old EFC teammate!
EFC: What age did you join Eastside and what team were you on?
SW: I joined Eastside FC in 7th grade and played on the EFC G95 Red coached by Tom Bialek until I graduated high school.
EFC: What were some team and personal accomplishments during your time at EFC?
SW: Our Eastside team won multiple WA state championships over the years. I was also named to the WA state Olympic Development team and the Seattle Times All-Star Team, alongside a couple EFC teammates!
EFC: Share a favorite memory from your time at EFC.
SW: EFC was such a positive force in my life that it's hard to pick just one! There are so many good memories, from little moments like carpool rides and team dinners to big travel tournaments. Arizona regionals sticks out in my mind. It was so hot that games didn't start before 9pm, so we got to stay up past midnight and sleep till noon (at least that's how I remember it!).
EFC: How did EFC prepare you for college and life beyond?
SW: One important lesson I learned at EFC is that diligent preparation not only builds skills and knowledge, but can create an amazing sense of self-belief, and that self-belief is what really unlocks our full potential. This understanding of how my preparation, mindset, and performance are related has helped me countless times in athletics, school, and work.
EFC: What did you enjoy most about playing in college?
SW: I played soccer for a couple of years at the University of Chicago while studying economics and public policy. Traveling around a new part of the U.S. was fun! I enjoyed playing against some former EFC teammates at Pomona and Carnegie Mellon.
EFC: What advice would you give to our current Eastside players?
SW: Getting to play club soccer is a huge privilege, so my advice would be to just enjoy it! Be kind to all of your teammates and have fun getting to play soccer together!
EFC: Do you have any thoughts or ideas that could help us take EFC to another level?
SW: I think that Eastside is uniquely positioned to differentiate itself as a leader and role model with all the resources, influence, and connections in the EFC community. What more can the club do to advocate for and model change in the soccer community? The EFC scholarship made it possible for me to play there and I’d love to see Eastside become an outspoken leader in ensuring competitive soccer accessible for all kids in the US, especially girls.
EFC: We feel lucky to have these pearls of wisdom reflected back from Eastside alumni like Sophia. Our community on and off the field is better for Sophia’s perspective and life lessons learned and shared at Eastside.