Star player helps Celina girls soccer team go for its own three-peat

Millions of girls have shared the dream.

"When I was younger it was a want to play USWNT, play pro, World Cup," said Lexi Tuite, a former Celina soccer MPV.

This week, Tuite and millions more will be watching the team of ladies that get to kick that dream around in real life wearing stars and stripes on their jerseys. They’re chasing an unprecedented accomplishment. 

"I think it’s awesome to see that that’s just so possible and they’re making history together," Tuite said.

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She has made some history of her own in Celina, a town like so many in Texas with a football heartbeat.

"This was a big football town. They won eight or nine state titles," she said.

When Tuite moved to Celina from Frisco, the Celina girls' soccer program wasn’t much.

"My freshman year we had one coach, no trainers, and had to beg someone to be our goalie," she said.

What caught Tuite’s attention? The MVP plaque.

"You see that MVP plaque for the first time, what are you thinking?" the reporter asked.

"I’m thinking I want to be on it," she said.

She is now after leading the Lady Bobcats to back-to-back state titles and coming up clutch both times.

In 2022, Tuite stepped up needing to score a penalty kick to clinch Celina’s first-ever state title.

"I’m pretty sure I blacked out. I didn’t even really realize it was the winning kick until I turned around and oh my gosh, the winning kick. It was a really hard-fought game so that final feeling of oh my gosh we did it, it was relieving," she said.

This year, she found a way to top that scoring 64 goals.

And in her final match with an undefeated season on the line, Tuite did something no player had ever pulled off in a state title game.

"You break a UIL record. Five goals in one title game. What got into you," the reporter asked.

"I don’t know, Jesus. Jesus got into me. He definitely helped me that entire game because that’s not something I could’ve done on my own," she said.

Now when fans come to Celina’s stadium, they’ll always be reminded that it isn’t just a football town.

"Getting our name on the board was really, really nice. And I really hope they do it again, and again and again and again," Tuite said. "Celina will be going for a three-peat but first it’s the USWNT. First it is them and I’m really excited to see what they do."

There are 11 states represented on this year’s U.S. women’s national team, but the sweltering hot Texas is not one of them. 

In fact, the Lone Star State has not had a player on the roster for five straight World Cup cycles. It’s a sign of just how much more room there is for soccer to grow in this sports-crazed state.

"When you think about the impact you’ve had in this community, how can you imagine the impact of a Texan being on that USWNT, scoring a goal to win a world cup?" the reporter asked.

"I think that you know, especially people being from Texas, we have a lot of pride in our state. So, I think that that would be amazing to see it represented for sure," Tuite said.

Maybe that next Texan will come out of Celina. Maybe not.

Either way, Tuite and her teammates can always say they put Lady Bobcat soccer on the map.

And while time’s up on this part of her career, the clock will never run out on the championship bond she has with these girls.

"It's definitely a second family and always will be now and 10 years from now," she said. "Yeah, and when we’re all soccer moms, we’ll still be family." 

 Tuite will begin her college career with Northern Colorado this fall.