Georgie Girl: West Orange freshman soccer player looking to make an impact in first season

Georgie McNeil plays on Orlando City Youth Soccer Club's top elite team as well.

  • By
  • | 9:25 a.m. November 11, 2021
Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
  • West Orange Times & Observer
  • News
  • Share

After an incredible summer, during which Georgianna “Georgie” McNeil was invited to compete in the Olympic Development Program and her club team earned a top 40 ranking nationally, the West Orange High freshman soccer player now is focused on contributing to her new team. 

McNeil is transitioning from her normal winger position with her club team, Orlando City Youth Soccer Club ECNL in Sanford, to playing midfield for the Warriors. She has the soccer background, though, to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

“I’ve played for so long that I have played all positions before,” McNeil said. “I know what each role demands, but it’s harder when you get into certain habits playing one position.” 

So far, the results are favorable. The Warriors already have played two preseason games and another scrimmage. The other transition to high school soccer seems to be a more gradual one. 

“After the first preseason game, it was an eye-opener on how much more physical high school soccer is to club soccer,” McNeil said. “You’re playing kids two to three years older than you in high school.” 

That does not mean these are all unfamiliar faces for her. Throughout her career, McNeil has met and played with several girls on the West Orange roster.

“It helps to work with them on the field better,” McNeil said. “(Because) I already kind of know them, I can get along with them on the field.” 

Off the field, McNeil is playful, always able to make a joke and friendly with everyone. Put her on the field, though, and the Georgie deep inside comes out — a sharp, focused player who is entirely about giving her team the victory on any given day. 

Having played soccer for 10 years, McNeil has seen all sorts of things come her way. She first started with the Winter Garden Rush soccer club and had plenty of success there. In sixth grade, she was named player of the year at Lakeview Middle School. 

But then, two years ago, McNeil was at a bit of a crossroads. She had the chance to join the Orlando City Youth Soccer Club ECNL-R regional team — one of the top youth soccer programs in the country. As enticing as it was, the opportunity meant devoting all her time to soccer and possibly leaving the group of friends she had on Winter Garden Rush. 

She looked to her mother, Gina, for advice. 

“Her dad and I said that we knew she was at the point that if she wanted to be challenged, (making the move) was (what) she had to do, but we didn’t want to force that on her,” Gina McNeil said. “It’s a 40-minute drive to practice, which is a big commitment. That’s an all-in thing.” 

Ultimately, Georgie McNeil made the move, and that decision impressed her mom. 

“I don’t know that as a 13-year-old, I would have willingly made the decision to throw myself out there and not be with any of my friends and make new friends,” Gina McNeil said. 

So far, Georgie McNeil said the move has been worth it. 

“I’ve really grown a lot since I have been with Orlando City,” she said. “Being on the lower team for a year made me train harder to get up to the elite team.” 

Now, she hopes to take that growth to West Orange.

“(I want us to) be remembered for scoring and winning,” Georgie said of the Warriors.


Latest News