Written by: Matthew Sokol, Campbell blog contributor
While Alexa Genas is just starting her Campbell career, soccer is a term that she has been hearing most of her life.
Genas comes from a professional soccer family as her brother, Jermaine, played in the English Premier League for Newcastle from 2002-2005 and Tottenham from 2005-2013. He also played for the English National Team from 2003-2009.
Her father, Dennis, is the Director of Coaching at Elite F.C. located in Albuquerque, N.M. Everywhere she looks, soccer has played a role in forming the Albuquerque native into the striker she has become.
“My brother has given me a lot encouragement and support to keep pushing forward,” said Genas, before adding, “Growing up with him in UK and myself in the United States; it was hard to always have the strongest relationship.”
“But that is one thing that he was always supportive of – whenever I was there in the UK, he would go out and kick the ball around with me.”
Genas has always had her brothers support even with him living in England. The two of them have shared many moments together for the game they love and Jermaine’s professional career has taken a huge effect on the Campbell forward’s life during her early collegiate experience, making the transition into college much smoother.
“Division-I soccer has pushed me closer to his accomplishments in the sense that playing is not an everyday thing, not everybody does it,” said Genas.
Coaching Genas at the Division-I level is Campbell head coach Stuart Horne, who believes that players like Genas that come from a soccer family live in a different world compared to the regular soccer player.
“When you get players that have family that has been around the game playing collegiately and beyond; they definitely have a different environment growing up,” said Horne. “Genas coming from a soccer family definitely adds a little something to her, just being around the game for so much has helped her.”
Coming from a soccer-orientated family has helped Genas develop a mature style of soccer, says Horne and Campbell has been another stepping stone for her soccer career as a rising freshman.
“Genas is very athletic and she has good vision on goal,” notes Horne. “The assist she had at the scrimmage against East Carolina (on August 13) was very un-freshman like, she found Nicole Connolly in her second college game.”
Her long-standing background in the game of soccer has paid off on the pitch for the Fighting Camels. On Sept. 26, Genas earned her first collegiate career award as the Come Ready Nutrition Big South Freshman of the Week. During the Camels’ 6-2 win over Presbyterian that week, Genas registered four points.
“It was very humbling receiving the freshman player of the week, and it was nice to be recognized,” said Genas. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the work of the team, and it felt like a team accomplishment then an individual one. It was really exciting and motivating to keep pushing forward.”
Genas and the Campbell Women’s Soccer team returns to action on Saturday against Big South rival Liberty starting at 7 p.m. from Eakes Athletics Complex.