Feature: Marcia Wallis
Oct. 8, 2001
By Abbie Beckman
Stanford junior Marcia Wallis is sure turning heads as a two-sport athlete for the Cardinal. In the fall, one can find Wallis using her cleats on the soccer field and in the spring swinging her clubs on the golf course.
'I have been extremely lucky to have two coaches that have embraced my decision to play both soccer and golf,' said Wallis.
Wallis made her presence known as a freshman on the Stanford soccer team. She was second in the team in goals (10) and points (22), while also earning First Team All-Pac-10 accolades. The 1999 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year then traded her cleats for clubs. Wallis reshirted her freshman year in order to develop into a more mature golfer. Last season she officially was a member of both squads including the golf travel team.
'With golf I have a lot of competitive talent from competing with my brother, but I don't have much tournament experience. With soccer, I have been part of the National Team since I was 16 so I feel like I am a lot more experienced,' said Wallis. 'I am still trying to learn the tournament mode and different mental aspects of the game of golf.'
Last season she participated in six golf tournaments with a 77.8 stroke average. Wallis had three top-25 finishes, with a tie for 21st at the Spartan Invitational as her best finish of the 2001 season.
'There is a ton of money in golf and that is always something to take into consideration,' said Wallis, who has thought about a future in both sports. 'However, the WUSA (Women's Professional Soccer Association) is starting up and doing well, so I might like to play in that league. If I am mature enough by my senior year and my golf game develops, I would love to turn pro in golf.'
Wallis does have a big decision to make between sports due to her recent success in both. She followed up her highly touted freshman soccer campaign with a 30-point effort in 2000. Wallis scored 13 goals and earned Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors for athletics and academics.
Since a young age, Wallis grew up playing both sports. 'My dad played soccer at Santa Clara, so he always pushed us to play and signed us up to play in soccer leagues. However, we lived on a golf course in Santa Cruz. He loves golf so he started signing us up for all the junior tournaments. He would drop us off at the course and let us play all day during the summer.'
Since being brought up as a two-sport athlete, Wallis always had a goal in mind to play both at the collegiate level. 'It was a goal and played a large part when making my decision on choosing a college. A big part of the process was even if the school would allow me to play two sports, I did not want to have to pick one. If one didn't work out then fine, but I at least wanted the coaches to allow me to try.'
For now, Wallis can be found on the soccer field with her golf teammates cheering her on. She has gotten a lot of support from both teams during soccer matches and golf tournaments. 'It has been really great with both teams supporting me. The golf team comes to my soccer games and the soccer players will come to my golf tournaments.'
As Wallis approaches another two-sport year, she is focused on winning a National Championship for both sports. For her personally, she wants to win the individual golf title and compete strong in every match and meet.
'I want to feel like I am playing to my potential in both sports and be an important member on each team,' said Wallis. 'I am going to continue to play both soccer and golf for as long as I can. I am not ready to choose one just yet.'
Hopefully Wallis won't be forced to chose for awhile because right now the Stanford junior is enjoying her time switching from cleats to clubs.