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Williams excels on soccer field while playing with sickle cell trait

Women’s soccer sophomore midfielder Alexis Williams was playing with her club high school team at a tournament in Colorado when she found she could not keep up her endurance on the field.

“It was the weirdest thing because I’ve never had problems running or anything, but I would have to stop every second,” she said. “I couldn’t run.”

Williams knew she was physically fit, but questions from her coaches asking if she was out of shape frustrated her – especially because being quick on the field was a hallmark of her play.

She forgot about the incident when she returned home to New Jersey, where she was able to return back to her normal ability on the field.

But the moment in Colorado would return to Williams’ mind when she went in for a sickle cell trait test before her freshman year of college – an NCAA requirement for athletes before their first season – and it came back positive.



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