Harris uses soccer as gateway to reach her goals

Sara Beth Purdy

From the stands, Lexi Harris looks just like every other player on the Longhorn’s bench. She’s quick, makes good decisions on the field and loves to win. But this sophomore midfielder from Plano will surprise you.

Up close and personal, Harris likes a challenge and lives for the physical and mental toughness that soccer brings to the table.

“The sport requires so much from you physically and mentally,” Harris said. “No matter how good you become, the sport never ceases to push you to your limits.”

In high school, Harris racked up a long list of accolades. From the Texas stage, Harris helped to lead Plano West High School to a 5A State Championship in 2007.

In 2008, she was an Under-17 Women’s World Cup Finalist before going on to become a member of the United States Under-20 Women’s National Team. 

Texas head coach Chris Petrucelli recruited Harris heavily in high school. Top Drawer Soccer labeled her as the No. 1 recruit in Texas and No. 2 recruit nationally in 2010.

She didn’t stop once she got to college. As a freshman, Harris started in 18 of 21 games for the Longhorns and was named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. So far this season, Harris has started all four games at midfielder and has accounted for two Texas scores.

Her motivation to work hard and to win is what sets her apart. Harris is the first of her family to go to college and credits soccer with providing her the opportunities she has at Texas.

“It just opens up everything for me,” Harris said. “I never had goals or anything like that. I am able to dream now. Soccer is my gateway to going where I want to go.”

Harris wants to finish college as an exercise science major before going to grad school to become a physical therapist. After that? Not even she knows.