Prep Zone: Gig Harbor's Stephanie Cox

KING 5's Chris Egan reports.

From 2006 to 2013 former Seattle Reign FC star Stephanie Cox played for the US National soccer team.
She won a gold medal and a national championship at the University of Portland , but as Chris Egan reports, she's now a coach sharing her love for the game with a group of girls from Gig Harbor High School.

It's been a season to remember at Gig Harbor High.
They're 13-0 and have already knocked in 63 goals.
"I love everything about this team, how compassionate everyone is towards each other , and if one person is down, we know that and support them and push them to be better , we hold each other accountable," says senior Kaysie Bruce
"It's been fun to find ways to motivate them and keep them focused, but they are a pretty driven group," says head coach Stephanie Cox.

Stephanie Cox was once one of the best defenders in the world.
But last year with her second child on the way, she decided to call it a career to focus more on being a mom and a coach.
"It was amazing playing, I feel lucky every time I get to pass the ball to the girls, that clean strike on the ball I love, but now I'm excited I get to pass it on and pass on that love for the game and the lessons you learn through sports, it's pretty awesome," says Cox,

With her soccer pedigree, Coach Stepahie has taken the Tides to a new level.
"I love having Stephanie as a coach, she is one of the most down to earth people I've ever met , her experience is next level, you can't get any better than playing on the US national team," says senior captain Abby Nordquist.

"She really does use what she knows to better the team," says Sophia Hatteberg.
Senior Leahi Manthei said, "I feel like we should be intimidated by her or like scared , but in reality she is just kind of like one of us I feel like."


Once in a while though, Coach Cox will show her girls she can still play.
"I'm loving it and yesterday I got out and practiced and I probably shouldn't say this , but when I got home, my husband was like, wow, smells like you were practicing and I was like rather than just standing," says Cox,

Besides the fundamentals, Stephanie also wants her team to have some fun and do they ever.
"We have a great mix of personalities and a lot of goof balls," says Cox.
"There is a lot of laughing at practice, we are just a light hearted group," says Hatteberg, Sometimes more like a rock group than a soccer team. "We like to sing after games," says Abby Nordquist.

After every match, a post game speech, then the bus ride back.
"I think the first ride home was a surprise for me, they have a tradition when they cross the bridge they go into song," says Cox. "I think a team plays best when their individuals are free to be who they are," adds Cox.

As a coach she realizes her players need balance, and as a wife and mom, Stephanie needed the same.
"It's great to be in this community and I'm glad I can be a part of it with the high school its a good fit for where my heart is with the game and to help these girls grow and reach their own dreams," says Cox.

In Gig Harbor, Chris Egan, King 5 Sports.

Copyright 2016 KING


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