Women’s Soccer: Wotkyns finds solace on field

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(Zach Morgan)

    As the wind blows through the stadium a distinct chill enters the air and you know that Fall is upon us. On the field, in their white home uniforms, stands the Guilford College women’s soccer team. Midway of all the athletes eager to hear the whistle designate the beginning of play, stands a 5’2, bronze-skinned defensive-specialist with her long flowing silky-black-hair tucked neatly into a ponytail. 

    She is stealthy and seems to be in her own world. As she prepares for yet another game in her senior year of college Lily Wotkyns affixes the game-time scowl she is known for, looks to the heavens and sets her focus on her opponent.

Some players have a pre-game routine that is legendary. Michael Jordan always wore his UNC shorts under his Chicago Bulls uniform. Former NY Jets running back Curtis Martin always read Psalm 91 prior to games. 

    For Wotkyns it is her focus that is her pre-game routine. This same focus has been a benefit to her on and off the field. 

Adopted from China when she was a mere five years old, Lily has been a special addition to her family and friends since she arrived in the United States.

    “Lily is an extremely diligent person,” said Jeanette Wotkyns, her Mother. “She knows everyone, so when I go anywhere in Denver, they always say ‘Oh, your Lily’s Mom.'”

    Always pushing forward and never being happy resting on her laurels, Lily is scheduled to graduate from Guilford early.

“I’m pretty focused academically, said Lily. “I would like to attend graduate school after Guilford to receive my PHD in Clinical Psychology.”

    That desire to achieve has been evident in all that Wotkyns participates in. When it comes to sports, she is a teammate first.

    “This years team is amazing,” said Lily. “I am so happy to see the girls come together. We had struggles in the past but now we are determined to win and most of all trust each other to win. The first-years are dedicated and we all push each other daily.”

     Wotkyns has pushed herself to the limit since she first set foot on the soccer field. 

    “I remember when she was very young and her older sister Alice would have soccer games,” said Kip Wotkyns, her Father. “Lily just couldn’t understand why she couldn’t play so we realized at that point that we had to get her on a team. Shortly thereafter, we signed her up and she started playing and has been a natural talent ever since. She has found great solace in soccer.”

    And the rest as they say is history. Lily played soccer all four years in high school in Denver, Colorado at East High School. Upon graduation she took many colleges into consideration but settled on Guilford.

    “I picked a Division III school because don’t have any intentions on going pro and also so I could have a life outside of sports,” said Lily. I picked Guilford because it was a small school and it has a good student teacher relationship. That was very important to me.”

    That determination to find the right fit has paid off. Lily has been named to the deans list, twice named Academic All-ODAC, four times honored as Guilford College Honor Roll recipient and is secretary of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

    “Lily has a lot of determination and follow through,” said Alice Wotkyns, her older sister. She is a social butterfly and that helps her remain active and keep moving forward in her life.”