GODDARD, Kan. (KNSW) — Eisenhower’s Bella Smith is playing for her hometown Tigers this spring, but the list of teams she’s already had success with and that are showing interest in her continues to grow.
Smith has already been an Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) champion and captain of U-15 Kansas City Athletics. Several National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) DI programs are interested in her. Schools like Florida State, Virginia, Florida, Vanderbilt and Nebraska.
All part of the list of goals Smith has set out to accomplish.
“D-1, NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League), then the national team is probably my timeline,” said Smith.
For now, she is focused on her sophomore season with her hometown team, the Eisenhower Tigers, while taking a break from playing club soccer in Kansas City.
“It’s just nice to play in front of my friends and family and to stay local and not have to travel to Kansas City three hours,” Smith said.
The Tigers also have a new head coach this season, Roger Downing. He likes the competitiveness Smith brings to the team.
“It’s been a good experience for the girls, they responded well to her, they don’t really back down from her and she fits in great with the girls,” said Downing.
Smith knows she will likely be on every opponent’s scouting report this season, but embraces the challenge.
“When I was younger, I didn’t make the team, so I never want that to happen. I’m always scared, and I feel like I can always be working harder. There’s always someone better than you, always working the same amount as you, so you have to work that little bit more,” said Smith.