Olympic soccer player Angela Hucles discusses perseverance, athletic journey in fourth Panther Speaker Series


Photo credit: Grace Doyle

Angela Hucles, the fourth speaker in the Panther Speaker Series, spoke to the Archer community about the importance of a positive attitude and perseverance. On Nov.19 via webinar she spoke to the community and was interviewed by members of the Athlete Leadership Council.

By Grace Doyle, Sports Editor

As the Panther Speaker Series panel continues, the fourth speaker in the line up was Angela Hucles, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and founding owner of the National Women’s Soccer League’s new Angel City Football Club. Hucles spoke via virtual webinar to the Archer community on Nov. 19 about goal setting, playing with joy and persevering through difficulties.

Hucles guided those who attended the webinar through her journey in soccer, starting from when she was playing youth soccer, to her Olympic career and future endeavors while remaining candid about her struggles which she had to push through.

“My primary role was as a bench player,” Hucles said during the webinar. “It was the feeling of I could do more for my team and not really feeling like I was being seen, or being allowed to have that opportunity.” 

Briana Gonzalez, a junior on the varsity softball team and member of the Athlete Leadership Council (ALC), was inspired by Hucles’ presentation and specifically resonated with the lessons that coincide with Archer’s values. 

“What stuck out was her speaking about tolerance for adversity and uncertainty,” Gonzalez noted. “I know that ties into a lot of what Archer teaches so I think she was just able to teach a lot of strategies and ways to keep persevering.” 

Charlie Clayton, an eighth-grade soccer player and member of the ALC, also related to Hucles’ message and felt the broader Archer community did as well.

“Having moments of doubt and then navigating through those moments, and finding her love for soccer, I can relate to,” Clayton said during the webinar. “And staying authentic and remembering the power that we have on the inside. And I think Archer was a really good place for [her] to share [her] message because I know we can all relate to it and we can all use it in this hard time.” 

As she continued, Hucles, cited her moments of breakthroughs.  She specifically discussed her mindset before the 2008 Olympics when she did “some soul searching.” 

“I went into that 2008 year with a different mentality. It was to find the love of that game.  To go out there to work my butt off right at training and practice and just to have fun with it,” Hucles said. “That was my approach every single day, just kept it simple and went into every practice, every game with that same mentality and approach.” 

Along with personal growth, Hucles is also setting out to grow the game of soccer and promote inclusivity for girls and women of color.

“What she focuses on is a lot of trying to foster equality and inclusivity between all of the sports and I think that’s something that’s really important,” Gonzalez said.  

Hucles ended by stating what she sees her role as in terms of broadening the sport of soccer.

“I think it’s just an important reminder that we all breathe the same air. I’m no different than a little girl with the same type of color and different type of color so I think to be able to see examples of ourselves — some people say ‘see it to believe it’ — it’s important to see that,” Hucles said. “Things could be difficult and hard but there’s a way. If you want something bad enough, there’s a way to fulfill that so to be able to have role models is something that I take very seriously. I think is an opportunity and responsibility.”