Allison Worley first started kicking a soccer ball around age 3. Not on a club team, mind you, but against much tougher competition — her older sisters.
“(Taylor) is six years older than me. (Ashley) is four years older than me. They would pick on me and say, ‘You need to get the ball first to play with us,’ ” Viera High’s senior soccer star said.
“That’s where the aggression came from. I was just growing up with it. … I grew up being a talented player because of my sisters.”
Worley isn’t just a talented player. She’s the Division I kind of talented player after signing last month with Troy University in Alabama.
The senior forward not only leads Viera in goals this season with seven through five games, she is also the team leader in assists with four. Overall, she has 48 goals and 13 assists over her freshman, sophomore, junior and now senior years.
While she’s always been an aggressive player, there are plenty of other aspects about Worley’s game that can make her a nightmare matchup for opposing defenses.
“From a young age, she always stood out physically, and she was always one of the fastest players,” said Viera High coach Cal Dixon, who has coached Worley for the past five years, including the Space Coast United Soccer Club.
“As she has grown, she has been able to maintain both of these, making her an extremely hard player to play against for any defender, because they have to worry about the fact that they can’t push her off the ball, and she has the pace to run past them also.
“Over the five years, she has really improved the technical side of her game, like her first touch, but also the mental aspect of decision making — when and where to use her speed and strength. Also, her composure and finishing in front of goal. If she is not scoring goals, she is still always contributing to the quality of play because of her ability to hold the ball and then link with her teammates.”
That was particularly evident in Viera’s 7-0 win against Bayside, when Worley — who always draws a crowd — scored two goals and had three assists.
“Trying to take three players on at one time is not smart,” Worley said. “I’d rather just play it to another player and have them score. If they’re scoring, we’re all winning. And that’s a great thing.”
It also helps being surrounded by talented teammates, who share the same passion and dedication.
“It’s great being on Viera, because it’s not just me that wants to work hard,” Worley said. “In every game, Savannah Oxley’s working her butt off. There’s Caroline Boston, who is a complete tank in the back. There’s also Morgan Brubaker, who’s been killing it.
“It’s a whole squad now. We’re able to put players in, our subs, and have the level stay the same, or even better it.”
Viera reached the Class 6A state final four last season. Worley thinks they can be even better this year.
“She has been a pleasure to coach these past five years, because she has a fantastic work ethic and always wants to improve,” Dixon said. “I’m glad I was able to get a front-row seat to watch her grow into the quality player and person that she is.”