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Defensive player Cecily Stoute, freshman from Atlanta, GA, plays the ball forward during a game. The UGA Women's Soccer Team played the Mizzou Tigers on September 20, 2018, finishing with a final score of 0 - 0 in double overtime. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

The quest to capture the greatest prize in all of soccer has begun, and one Georgia soccer star will have the honor of joining thousands of players from every corner of the globe in that pursuit. Freshman right-back Cecily Stoute has been selected to represent Trinidad and Tobago in the World Cup Qualifying matches against Mexico and the United States this month.

“This is women: the big leagues,” said Stoute. “It’s nerve-wracking, but it’s also really interesting to have the experience, and I’m really excited to be able to say I did this. I’m excited about it.”

Stoute will join the 19 other women on the Trinidad roster and compete against the best that Central and North America has to offer in the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying round.

She had played on the under-20 team in the past, but the match against Mexico on Sunday, Oct. 7, will mark her first appearance for the senior team.

“I’m super nervous,” said Stoute before meeting the team in North Carolina. “This is not what I’m used to, just kids being maybe two or three years older than you.”

On Sunday, Trinidad and Tobago will take on Mexico before facing the defending World Cup champion United States National team on Oct. 10.

Afterwards she will return to Athens to face Tennessee on Friday, Oct. 12. Three games in one week will certainly be a demanding challenge for Stoute, and it will take away from her preparation for the Bulldog’s SEC test against the Volunteers, but Georgia head coach Billy Lesesne wants her to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

“This is a great opportunity for her,” he said. “We are so proud of her commitment to Georgia and very excited that one of our own Bulldogs has earned the opportunity to play on an international stage. We can’t wait to watch her.”

As for Stoute, she understands the tremendous opportunity before her, and knows these will be the biggest games of her career.

“It’s nerve-wracking because there are going to be people here watching and people in Trinidad watching,” she said. “But then it’s so exciting because it’s a huge opportunity and I’m going to see and play against players that I grew up watching, which is really cool.”

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