Montezuma-Cortez High School midfielder/forward Gabriella Wolf possesses all the physical tools necessary to be an outstanding soccer player. She is strong, she is fast and she is aggressive. What sets Wolf apart from similarly talented players, however, is her uncommon dedication and work ethic.
A soccer player all her life, Wolf practices and competes year-round in hopes that her own individual improvement will spur the Panther soccer team to new heights. One of Cortez’s brightest young stars, Wolf sets a fine example for area athletes and in doing so, paves a path towards her own bright future.
Like so many local soccer players, Wolf’s playing career began in the Tri-City soccer program. From the age of 4 to the age of 13, Wolf competed in Tri-City leagues while honing her basic skills and developing a love of soccer.
“We saw something was there early,” said father Chris Wolf. “[Gabriella] always loved [soccer]. [Her mom] and I decided that we would help her go as far as she could as long as she stayed on top of her grades and her chores. [Gabriella] has always held up her part of the bargain.”
As time passed and Wolf continued to improve, it became obvious that she would need to leave the friendly confines of Cortez if she wanted to maximize her potential. At the age of 14, Wolf tried out for the New Mexico Rush Soccer Club, a high-level youth soccer organization based in Albuquerque. After performing well in her tryout, Wolf was selected to play on one of the Rush’s teams and thus far, the experience has proven invaluable.
“Playing for the Rush has really opened me up to a higher level of competition,” said Wolf. “I have improved as a player and as a person.
After spending a year playing for the Rush, Wolf joined the M-CHS girls’ soccer team and immediately contributed. Totaling six goals and one assist and contributing on the defensive end, Wolf earned a spot on the Southwest League All-Conference second team.
“[M-CHS] had a good year,” said Wolf. “We played very well, much better than I thought we would. I’m excited for the upcoming season.”
To prepare for the high school season, Wolf has been working extremely hard to improve her skills. Still playing for the Rush, Wolf travels to Albuquerque for practice most Fridays and plays in showcase tournaments around the country most weekends. In addition to her club team commitments, Wolf has been playing pickup soccer with her high school teammates every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer.
“I’ve trained very hard this summer,” said Wolf. “I’ve been working on improving my conditioning and getting more touches on the ball.”
Considering her summer improvements, as well as the improvements made by her high school teammates, Wolf has high hopes for the next prep season.
“My goal for the team is to go as far as we can,” explained Wolf. “On an individual level, I would like to win [team] MVP. Coach Nathan Roth is great. He has done so much for me and so much for our team. I am excited for the season.”
In the future, Wolf would love to play college soccer and considering her success thus far, there is no reason to believe such a goal is unattainable.
“I’ve been looking at different Division I and Division II schools,” Wolf said. “We’ll just have to see what happens.”
While “what happens” is impossible to predict, one thing is for certain. Wolf’s work ethic, dedication and love of the game will carry her a long ways. The sky is the limit for Cortez’s young soccer star and for coaches, teammates and spectators, watching her grow in the coming years will be a real treat.