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Breaking Records and Setting Them: Croix Bethune on Journey in Soccer, Overcoming Injuries, Having a Record-Breaking Rookie NWSL Season, Time With the Washington Spirit and Passions Beyond the Game

Photo credit: Washington Spirit

Unwavering faith, deep self-confidence, and an exceptional work ethic. Three pillars that Croix Bethune attributes her success in the game of soccer to, and ones she continues to build upon daily. After first being introduced to the sport at three years old, Croix remembers quickly discovering her interest in pursuing a career in the space. For her, it was a no-brainer. From its competitive nature to the creativity one could express within the game, playing soccer at the highest level was a goal Croix set for herself at a young age and was determined to achieve. Little did she know that over the next few years she would not only do just that, but would also be establishing an incredible personal legacy filled with record-breaking and record-setting moments. It wasn't all smooth sailing though. During her time in high school and college, Croix suffered a total of three ACL injuries. Injuries which, as she highlights, tested her resilience and taught her to embrace the ebbs and flows of the journey. There was one thing for certain though: these experiences only strengthened her focus and commitment to coming back stronger than ever. She did precisely that. Throughout her time at the University of Southern California and the University of Georgia, Croix became a standout midfielder at both two programs; and earned an array of accolades including back-to-back Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year awards and a SEC Tournament MVP recognition. This was just the beginning.

Even with these incredible accomplishments, she remained focused on working towards her childhood dreams of playing soccer professionally. She was on a mission. Upon graduating from the University of Georgia, Croix declared for the NWSL Draft and was set on reaching that next level. Sure enough, she did just that! With the third overall pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft, Croix was selected by the Washington Spirit and officially embarked on her professional soccer career. She hasn't slowed down one bit since! From leading the league in assists to earning multiple Rookie of the Month honors to becoming the youngest player in NWSL history to record three assists in a regular

season game, Croix has already established herself as a force to be reckoned with. As she reflects back on her rookie season thus far and ponders on her upcoming goals, Croix remains eager to elevate her game further and continue making an impact on the pitch. Beyond the game, she is excited to embark on ventures surrounding her passions for fashion, philanthropy, mentorship, and entrepreneurship. The most exciting part about it all is that Croix is just getting started on this journey of BREAKING RECORDS…AND SETTING THEM.

Photo credit: Washington Spirit

Take us all the way back! When did you discover that you were passionate about the game of soccer and wanted to play the sport professionally one day?

At a young age. In elementary school and middle school, we're always asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I kind of fell in love with soccer at such a young age that I always wanted to be a professional athlete.

As you immersed yourself on this journey with soccer, how was that transition from high school to college like for you?

I didn't really play high school soccer. I played club soccer and then I was also in the youth national system. I feel like my club team and the youth national system prepared me for this moment just with the competition, the traveling, and everything that comes with playing at such a high level at such a young age.

Photo credit: Washington Spirit

Photo credit: Washington Spirit

During your collegiate career, you played at the University of Southern California (USC) and also at the University of Georgia. Reflecting back on your journey there, what were some challenges that you faced early on?

The biggest challenge would be injury. I tore my ACL right before coming into college and then eleven months out I tore it again as a freshman. It was at such a critical time of my career—I missed out on the World Cup for my age and also missed out on being a true freshman coming in to help USC.

Despite being faced with injuries, you had an incredible collegiate career. You were a standout midfielder at both programs, you won back-to-back Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year awards, you also won a SEC Tournament title, and earned the Tournament’s MVP Award. What did earning these awards mean to you?

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