Meet Alyssa Parsons: Windermere Prep's newest girls soccer star

After scoring 35 goals for Apopka High as a freshman, Alyssa Parsons is ready to bring even more goals to Windermere Prep.

Photo by KIM POLO
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Soccer is called the beautiful game for a reason. Those who understand it, grew up in it and love it know there is a tangible element to each match often unnoticed by the untrained eye. 

Each game has a flow to it, a rhythmic nature that evolves throughout a match, and often at the heart of that flow is a player. 

That player is someone who can dictate how the game will be played — either because of their physical play on the pitch or just simply by the opposition’s knowledge and reaction to their abilities. The likes of Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi or Megan Rapinoe come to mind. 

Those types of players are rare but easily can be pointed out as the lynchpins of most games they play.

Windermere Prep girls soccer’s Alyssa Parsons is that type of player.

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“She has a lot of really good qualities as a player, with her athleticism and speed being a few of them,” Windermere Prep girls soccer coach Greg Stone said. 

“Her skill and technique are really important, as well. She’s able to control the ball under pressure … take on players and win one-on-one battles, and finish in front of goal. She’s a very well-rounded player, which makes her very tough to defend against.”

The striker broke onto the scene last year and established herself as a star player after scoring 35 goals and recording 11 assists for Apopka High. 

And now in her first season at Windermere Prep, Parsons hasn’t missed a beat. Through the first five games of the 2023-24 season, Parsons has scored 18 goals and assisted two more for a young Lakers team, including a seven-goal outing against Trinity Catholic. 

That, in and of itself, is impressive, but what will make you perk up a bit more is Parsons is only a sophomore.

It’s easy to point to technical skills or physical ability as the reasons why Parsons has been so exceptional, but at that young of an age, the ability to make a transition from one school to another in such a smooth manner requires a level of maturity that goes beyond her age. 

When she was asked about the on-field transition to Windermere Prep, Parsons gives a small glimpse into the mentality that has helped establish her as one of the top players in the area. 

“My teammates have made me feel really comfortable, so that’s helped me be able to do here what I did at Apopka,” Parsons said. “It’s easy for me to adapt to the players around me, because I know what I can do and I have confidence in my ability. And because my teammates are willing to help and work with me, I’ve been able to work hard with them, and we’ve been successful so far.”

Alyssa Parsons taking a penalty kick for Orlando City SC's ECNL youth team.
Courtesy photo | The ECNL

But this isn’t the first time Parsons’ ability to adapt has come in handy. Last spring, Parsons was invited to a 23-player training camp with the U15 United States Women’s Youth National Team in Kansas City, Kansas.

“I was nothing but grateful for the opportunity,” Parsons said. “It was such a blessing to get called up.”

Although she was thankful just for the chance to participate in the camp, Parsons wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity and learn as much as she could.

“I went into the camp with a mindset of confidence,” she said. “I just kept telling myself that they called me up for a reason. They know I’m a good player, so I just have to execute. When I got there, they put me in a few different positions, not just striker. They had me on the left wing a lot. That alone made me realize I needed to show them I can play any position and that I can adapt. That’s actually what I took most from the experience — how important the ability to adapt to different scenarios is and that I needed to make an impact, regardless of the position I’m playing.”

Through her time with the national team and with her transition to a new school, Parsons sees this as a great opportunity to step up as a leader for her team. According to her new coach, that decision is paying early dividends for his team.

“The thing about Alyssa is she’s kind of quiet at first,” Stone said. “I think coming into a new environment was part of that, but when she got on the field, it was clear she felt comfortable right away and she began leading by example. She just comes out and puts such amazing effort into training, into practices, into mentally preparing, and the other girls saw that right away. They feed off of that. She’s brought such a confidence and work ethic every day that’s really helped our team.”

With the addition of Parsons and the return of key players throughout the lineup, this Lakers team has the talent and potential to build something special. 

“Our team has a philosophy of, whoever’s in there is going to step up, be confident and do a good job,” Stone said. “That’s been one of our strengths early on. Even if we’re down a couple of key players, we don’t lose confidence. The nucleus of the team is fairly young, so I think that we still have a lot to learn and a lot to improve on but the pieces are there. We just have to keep taking it one match at a time and keep pushing to improve.” 

Sam Albuquerque is the Sports Editor for the Orange Observer. Please contact him with story ideas, results and statistics.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @SamBAlbuquerque
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Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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