For the last six years or so, Ella Martin has been fully committed to protecting the goal for her high school and club soccer squads.
When situated between the posts and in the defensive zone for Mercer Island High School (MIHS) and Eastside FC, the 5-foot-9 senior goalkeeper displays heaps of confidence, communication and mental strength from start to finish of each match.
She’s built for the position, she said, adding: “I’ve been told by a few people that I have long arms and big hands, which I guess is to my benefit.”
At press time, the Islanders sported a 2-1 record with a pair of 1-0 shutouts over Hazen and Newport.
“I think we’re doing really well. I’m really happy with how we’ve been doing as a team and I think we have a really exciting season coming up,” said Martin, who has played for MIHS since freshman year and is in the midst of her second season in the starting varsity keeper spot. She captains the MIHS squad with fellow seniors Jenna Martin, a forward, and Joey Lurie, a defender, and junior defender Hannah Savoy.
Already looking ahead to the DI college realm, Ella recently verbally committed to play for the University of Idaho following a host of tournaments and showcases with Eastside FC in Nashville, Houston, San Diego and Phoenix. She started her career with Mercer Island FC and elevated her game with Eastside FC over the last few years, soon reaching a position where college programs began eyeing the netminder.
On the classroom front, Ella plans on majoring in biology and traversing a pre-medicine path at Idaho. Attending medical school would be the next step on her agenda, she said.
While at MIHS, she tackles a robust schedule, which includes helping an Island family by driving their kids to after-school practices.
“You could ask pretty much anyone I know, and they would say that I never really have that much free time. I love it. I love the things that I do, and I think a lot of it is not only for my own benefit, but for others as well,” she said.
The Reporter asked Martin a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life:
Are you the type of person who can get something done on the spot or do you need to be a big preparer of something?
I think I’m almost better if I’m asked to do something on the spot. I think if I have time to prepare for something, it won’t go as well.
What’s kind of an important or defining moment in your life?
This is actually very recent. At one of our travel tournaments, it was a very big recruiting tournament for me as I had a lot of coaches who were interested but not quite sure if they wanted to recruit me, and I had a pretty bad game. It was the first game and I would say all of the colleges who I was talking to, they were all there. And I would say a very defining moment for me was the decision to not give up after that. I decided to kind of stick with it, which is something that I’ve been working on for the past couple years and I think that was huge for me because it led to, obviously, my verbal commitment, which was exciting. (She turned the tough situation in her favor with two solid games and then continued to shine at the next tourney a month later.)
Where do you find inspiration in life?
I find a lot of inspiration from my parents, from both of them. Kind of what they did with themselves and they put themselves through school and all of the different things they did after. It’s very motivating to know that you can take yourself in any direction you want.
Social media: a blessing or a curse?
I like social media. This is actually a very active conversation I have with one of my trainers. He likes social media, but he doesn’t like the frequency with which a lot of teenagers are using it. I believe that if you use it in a healthy way, which varies from person by person, that it can be beneficial. I moved to Seattle from Colorado when I was 12ish and I find it really fun to still keep in touch with old friends and keep in touch with family across the country and things like that.
What’s your most binge-worthy TV series that you would recommend?
Oh, definitely “Grey’s Anatomy,” which is a little controversial at least within my family because my parents think it’s like mush for your brain, but I love “Grey’s Anatomy.”