The impressive play of Space Coast United’s Victoria Wehner has earned her a spot on the women’s soccer team at Florida Tech beginning with this fall’s season.
That in its own right is an amazing achievement, but when considering what Wehner had to overcome to achieve that makes it even more impressive.
Wehner and her mom Michele say that Victoria was eventually diagnosed with a brain arteriovenuous malformation in 2018. According to the Mayo Clinic, an AVM is a “tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain.”
The AVM began to be detected following an x-ray that was taken as Victoria was getting her braces off. Following another x-ray and a CAT scan, Michele says that she was asked to see a neurosurgeon.
From there, surgery took place in early November of that year. A month-long rehabilitation stint at Nemours Children’s Hospital and even a statement from one medical professional at one point that she wouldn’t be able to play soccer were undoubtedly tough mental obstacles to overcome, but they didn’t stop Ms. Victoria Wehner.
“I just knew that I was kind of like destined to play soccer,” said Ms. Victoria Wehner.
Ms. Victoria Wehner also noted the support that she got from others during that time, including coaches Cal Dixon, who coached her at both Space Coast United and Viera High School along with SCU coach Joey Messina and family.
“They visited her so often at Nemours,” said Michele Wehner. “….It’s not often that you see coaches that really care that much to do something like that.”
Indeed, Ms. Victoria Wehner said that she returned the field nine months after her surgery and has not looked back ever since.
“It’s been pretty amazing,” said Michele Wehner. “Considering everything that she went through to see that she’s actually back out on the field is pretty amazing.”
Victoria Wehner said that she would be majoring in mechanical engineering at the Florida Tech following her graduation from VHS later this spring.
“I’m very excited to play for Florida Tech,” Victoria Wehner said. “I’ve always kind of wanted to go there and I didn’t think that I would actually be able to play soccer there so it’s just kind of surreal.”
When she arrives at the school, she’ll also be buoyed by the fact that she’s played at a successful program at Viera High School that advanced to the FHSAA state semifinals this season. Victoria Wehner also indicated that she played with many teammates that played for VHS with Space Coast United.
“I had so much fun there. Definitely the best club I’ve ever been a part of,” Victoria Wehner said. “The coaching staff there is top-notch and every coach that I had there definitely pushed me to be my best.”
Victoria Wehner cited the strengths of her game in defense as “ball control,” “knowing the field itself” and “knowing where you’re at in certain times and pretty much having a good idea of what to do in such a short period of time.”
She also added advice for those who wish to follow in her footsteps.
“Just try and get through the little things and don’t let the little things kind of get in your way,” Victoria Wehner said. “You’re going to have bumps in the road and I think if you just push through and have perseverance throughout, you’ll go as far as you want to.”