Three Lady Rockets heading to Ireland with Ambassadors soccer team

Genovese and Schofield sisters will travel in June


Kaleigh Lilly

Alyssa Schofield is announced as a starter for a varsity game for her senior season.

Three Lady Rocket soccer players are headed to Ireland in June with their Ambassadors club soccer team. Senior Alyssa Schofield and sophomores Madz Genovese and Lydia Schofield will play against three local teams in Northern Ireland while also running some camps and working at clinics to coach little kids in impoverished areas.

A total of 18 players will be attending, along with a few coaches and family members.

“I think the most exciting part will be getting the opportunity to play soccer in a whole new country and getting to experience playing teams from other countries,” Lydia Schofield said.

Her sister said she is “…super excited to go on this trip. I have never been to Europe before so that aspect of the trip is really exciting. The teammates on my Ambassadors team are some of the best friends I have ever had, so getting to go on this trip with them, and my sister, and teammate here at Streetsboro, Madz Genovese, is super exciting.”

Genovese called this opportunity “unexpected…If you told me in 2022 that I’d be playing internationally and using my faith and passion for the game to connect with others, I truly would not believe you. I’m just so grateful to be put in this position, and I know every second will be so surreal. No nerves, just so hyped. It’s wild, really.”

Since this trip is international, there are some expectations.

Alyssa Schofield said she expects this trip to alter her perspective on life. “…It will allow me to take a step back and realize how cool it is that I’ve been given this opportunity to travel to Ireland to provide little kids with the practices I receive from coaches on a weekly basis. Playing with Ambassadors has provided me with so many experiences many people don’t get, so I hope to give the kids in Ireland a little bit of that.”

“I expect this trip to be life-changing, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” Genovese added.

Sophomore Madz Genovese works to steal the ball from an opponent. (Natalie Queen)

Ryan Willard, who coaches the Rocket Varsity Girls’ soccer team, shared insight on the three Streetsboro girls.

“They are good players,” he said. “I expect they will have a great time playing on this trip. Even though I expect they will have success, this trip will certainly be about way more than just the soccer.”

The team leaves June 12 and will return home June 20.

Alyssa Schofield says the team is prepared to go. “…We have been talking about this trip for a long time and now that it’s finally happening, we’re all just excited.”

Genovese agreed. “I’ve done sports ministry camps with Ambassadors in Akron and Hudson for three years,” she said. “I love being with the kids and I relate to them really well. I feel very prepared.”

The Rocket soccer players are no strangers to working with children.

“Our high school team, along with the boys team, runs a youth camp every year, so any player that plays high school soccer has the opportunity to give back to the generation of soccer players behind them,” Willard said. “The Schofield girls have both been a big part of teaching the younger kids at these camps. They will do really well being abroad as well.”

Ambassadors have several bases in different places across the globe. Alyssa Schofield explained that players usually get the opportunity to take a trip around the time they are seniors. She and her teammates chose Ireland as their destination because they felt it was safer, she added..

“I do think the trips are a really awesome experience and we should try and organize more, smaller trips for the club,” she said.

Genovese said she has “…played with Ambassadors for over seven years. “I’ve grown up watching our Cleveland Ambassadors WPSL team do great things in countries like Peru, Mexico, and England.The women on this team have molded me into the player I am today. From the technical side of the game, to how to be a good human on and off the field, they have taught me so much. These relationships definitely made my decision to commit to this trip easy peasy. My parents, family, and friends, especially my mom, have supported me so much and I’m beyond grateful for that.”