Prep of the Week: Araceli “Xeli” White

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(ABC 6 News) — There was a point in time when Araceli “Xeli” White struggled with her love for soccer.

Having transferred from Cotter and looking to find her role on SCLA, it’s safe to say she’s found her footing both metaphorically and literally.

“I’ve been discouraged for a while and I kind of got burned out of soccer, but I’m loving the game now, so, [I’m] really happy for that,” White revealed. “Just being able to work with the girls, they really just – they bring energy to me and I love working with them.”

The junior forward has been a catalyst in her first year on the varsity squad with 17 goals this season going into October 17; including the two goals that helped beat La Crescent-Hokah and send the Saints into the Section 1A Championship.

“Let’s just say when Xeli shoots it and someone is playing goal in practice, we cringe and move because it’s got some power behind it and we know it’s coming at it,” Saints co-head coach Taige Puetz noted.

“I’ve been working since I was young at it,” White added. “I had coaches just train me for hours and hours working my left foot and all my foot skills and just hours of work.”

White’s influence also goes back further as it was a hat trick over Caledonia that made history for Saints Girls Soccer, awarding them their first-ever Three Rivers Conference title this season.

“We had big goals and that was one of them,” Coach Puetz reflected. “We are working our way towards being a really great program in the conference.”

“It made it really special, it was just a great experience overall,” White agreed.

As long as White’s got the ball on her left foot. She’s always a threat win-or-lose because it’s only a matter of time before she makes her shot and the ball is in the back of the net.

“I guess I’m just most proud of keeping my head up,” White concluded. “I mean, things have been really hard during the season, but I’m glad we’re able to push through no matter what happens and keeping each other motivated throughout this whole season. It’s been great and I hope it continues to be great, [I’m] just excited for it.”