Sydney Worthy is focused on becoming the best forward that she can be

University of Akron forward Sydney Worthy arrived in Rubber City after a unique high school career at Madison Christian School. “My sophomore and junior year of high school I was able to play with the boys’ soccer program at my high school,” Worthy told BGN. “This experience was a similar shock to when I came to college in that the boys were most certainly bigger, stronger, and faster than me.”

“Although I have been a forward for my entire career, I was the starting attacking midfielder for the team. I think this is where I learned composure on the ball and how to let the ball do the work. It was also really fun to assist my older brother’s goals as he was the striker for the team.”

When she received an athletic scholarship to Akron from head coach Noreen Herlihy, Sydney actually made history. “Being the first Division I athlete out of Madison Christian School was an incredible honor,” she said. “I attended Madison, a small Christian school in my hometown, from preschool to senior year. That being said, the facilities and resources available for athletics were minimal.”

“For example, I was also on the track and field team which, in the absence of a track, ran workouts in the school parking lot. By achieving a D-1 scholarship, I hope to show young students specifically at my school that it is possible to do big things even if you come from a small school. The teachers and students at MCS played a big role in who I am today; I am very proud to represent the school not only in my sport but in my life too.”

It didn’t take long for Sydney to make good use of that NCAA scholarship at Akron as she scored six goals as a freshman and recorded two assists. In 2019, she added three goals and one assist to her impressive totals as an underclassman. “I believe that the reason I was able to find success in my first two seasons can be attributed to confidence,” she explained. “Making the jump from high school to college soccer is not easy. Your opponents are most likely older, bigger, and stronger than you.”

“However, the coaches believed in what I could do and trusted I could get the job done. This allowed me to be confident in my abilities and find success early on! In preparation for the upcoming season, I have focused mostly on fitness and being a clinical finisher. I believe these two areas are key to being a great forward.”

While the season has not started according to plan for the Zips, the junior forward is happy to be back playing the sport she loves and has high hopes for the 2021 season after the lengthy time off due to COVID-19. “I am beyond excited to be playing this spring,” Worthy said. “The wait has proven that you truly don’t know what you have until it is taken away!”

“The team is very talented this year and I believe the key to taking the next step toward the MAC title is simply performing how we know we can. The MAC is a tight conference meaning anyone can win on any given day, with wins typically being by one goal. We need to be the dangerous team that finishes every opportunity in front of goal to take the win at the end of the day.”

As Worthy and the Zips try to battle their way to a MAC title, they are encouraged by another team on campus that knows a thing or two about trophies: the Akron men’s soccer team. Sydney said, “The men’s team and coaches are very supportive of our program. It has been fun to get to know and learn from them while I have been at Akron. Their incredible success is no secret; it is really nice to have quality players cheer you on and offer advice.”

“I believe I speak for most athletes when I say it is super fun to go to other sporting events. Although we don’t play the same sport necessarily, you become very close with the other athletes because we all lead similar lifestyles. It is more fun to watch sports when you personally know the people in the competition. You’re not only cheering for other Zips, but also your best friends.”

The women’s soccer team will get two chances this week to pick up their first win of 2021 as they face Buffalo on Thursday and Miami on Sunday. Both matches will be played at Akron, where Worthy’s on track to become one of the school’s most prolific players ever. Already in the top ten all-time in career goals, Sydney explained, “I would love to leave Akron as one of the best players in the program’s history. In order to do that, I have set some goals for myself.”

“As I said before, fitness and finishing are my two areas of focus. Every player has their own style and strengths but being able to play a full game and still be clinical is nonnegotiable. Also, being a forward, it is my responsibility to put the ball in the back of the net.”

Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.