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South Valley Riverton Journal

Milwaukee recruit Natalie Scott, shined at RSL Academy

Jan 05, 2023 03:10PM ● By Daniel Olsen

Natalie Scott takes a shot with her Celtic club team. ()

With her recent success at RSL Academy, senior Natalie Scott has shown that she can excel at the prep level as well as college. However, she is quick to compliment the people who got her to this point.

“My mom has been with me through everything,” Scott said. “She has helped me through decisions in club and high school soccer. We flew out to Chicago every other weekend. That helped me get seen by Milwaukee.”

There are several achievements that Scott has accomplished in both club and high school soccer. Two in particular stuck out to her.

“It was great for our high school team to win state after waiting so long since we were not able to take the state championship this past year,” Scott said. “With the club team, the biggest achievement is being able to sign and play with Milwaukee. It’s worth everything I put into it.”

Not only is Scott a student of the game on the soccer field, she is a student in the classroom as well.

“I’m going to study criminal justice at Milwaukee,” Scott said. “I will see how it will play out. If I get the offer to play pro I will. It depends on what my life would look like. I would still like to be a part of the women's league regardless.”

When asked about which player would most compare to her game, RSL Academy coach Sly Yeates had a tough time pinpointing a specific individual.

“It’s hard to say,” Yeates said. “She is a unique player that has a lot of different skill sets.”

When it came down to winning a state championship, it took those specific skill sets to help put RSL Academy over the top.

“Her quick thinking and her mind set her apart,” Yeates said. “She has a strong mind set. We have the speed up top. She was able to get behind defenses quite easily. Her best moment was the Judge Memorial game when we were behind a goal. She had a really long throw in. The keeper was out of position, and we capitalized on it.” 

One thing that helped Scott get to the next level was when the game started to slow down.

“Early on what set her apart is she approached the season as a student of the game,” Yeates said. “I gave them a journal to keep a record of insights and she’s always taking notes. That gives her an edge. She’s soaked in information and applied it on the field throughout the season.”

Soccer didn’t come without significant adversity for Scott as she had to battle injury problems earlier in her career.

“I found out freshman year I had a broken back,” Scott said. “I had a bulged disc between my L4 and L5. I had to learn how to adjust and figure out my own body and what helps so I could continue my soccer career. I need to always take care of it since it won't ever go away. It’s something I have to adjust to and play through.”

The coaching staff at RSL Academy has found the way to best utilize her on the soccer field.

“When we play her up top as a wing forward, she is able to cut behind defenses and use her speed,” Yeates said. “When she’s isolated 1-on-1, she can beat a defender.”

The journey to RSL Academy was a unique one for Scott, things seemed to align for her at just the right time.

“My mom coached for RSL Academy my eighth grade year in 2018-2019,” Scott said. “I left my middle school. I absolutely loved everyone at RSL Academy, and it was a great environment. I didn't have to take PE. Seventh and eighth period was soccer. I had a good relationship with my coaches.”

Scott is ready to take her game to the next level, and even her coaches are noticing.

“It starts with passion,” Yeates said. “She is a passionate player and knows the work she will need to put in to play at the D1 level. She played with a team in Chicago last year. She is ready. She’s done the work beforehand, so she won’t be surprised in college.”

For anyone wishing to play at the collegiate level, Scott will be playing next year and she has some sound advice.

“Never give up,” Scott said. “It’s always very political. Everyone should love girls soccer. Even when coaches tell you that you can't do something or don't have the ability to do things in life, don’t give up.”

Even after her time is up at RSL Academy, Scott is always welcome to come back whenever she needs to.

“When you get into sports, relationships built on trust with people will continue,” Yeates said. “My door is always open for any of my former players. Players come back and train in the summer. We have current players come to play and also former players who are now in college.”

Scott is a great player whose legacy will not be forgotten at RSL Academy.

“Not only was she a great player, she’s a great person,” Yeates said. “She’s a great leader and captain that some people look up to on the team. It caught me off guard how well rounded she is as a person.”