After Emerging as Top Scorer for PDS Boys’ Soccer, Leggett Primed to Start Freshman Season at UConn
HIGH HOPES: Wesley Leggett flies high to boot the ball last fall in his senior campaign for the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team. Leggett, who led the area with 22 goals in 2018, will be starting his college career next week when he hits the field for preseason practice with the University of Connecticut men’s soccer team. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Over the years, the University of Connecticut has developed into an athletic powerhouse, highlighted by the women’s basketball program with its record 11 NCAA titles and the men’s hoops winning four national crowns of its own.
Several Husky athletes have gone on to star in the pro ranks, including Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi of the WNBA, Ray Allen and Kemba Walker in the NBA, along with George Springer of the Houston Astros and Byron Jones of the Dallas Cowboys.
Next week, Wesley Leggett will aim to start a new chapter in the school’s storied sports legacy, hitting the field for preseason training in his freshman season on the UConn men’s soccer team.
Former Princeton Day School standout Leggett was attracted by the school’s athletic excellence as he went through the recruiting process.
“Ray Reid is a great head coach who has cemented himself in the college soccer game with everyone,” said Leggett of Reid, who has guided the Huskies to one national title (2000) and 18 appearances in the NCAA tournament with 41 players having been selected in the Major League Soccer (MLS) draft.
“Having him as the leader and someone who could teach me and a good coaching staff will help develop me as a player. The University of Connecticut also develops a lot of professional athletes.”
In reflecting on his development at PDS, Leggett credited his teammates with giving him a big boost.
“The thing that stood out was the great supporting cast around me that helped me develop as a great player,” said Leggett.
“They helped me with my confidence a lot. Having a great group of guys to play with those four years always made that better.”
That group of of guys experienced a lot of Prep B success, winning the title in 2016.
“We were finalists two years, we won in my sophomore year and we lost in the semis another year,” said Leggett.
“That shows that we had a strong program and we were capable of winning state championships every year.”
The dynamic Leggett became capable of scoring in bunches, netting 22 goals as a senior last fall to lead the area.
“I think the main things that have developed are my first touch and athleticism,” said Leggett. “As you get older, you mature and see the game in a different way.”
Over his four years at PDS, Leggett matured off the field as well. “Being a captain and a leader the last two years, it translates on the field and off the field,” said Leggett.
“Once you are a leader on the field, you become a leader in the school and the classroom. The way you take those roles goes a long way.”
With the UConn preseason practices starting on August 13, Leggett is ready to display his class on the field.
“I can’t wait to step out there and play and just express myself on the field and show the older kids and the coaches what I can do,” said Leggett.
“What I want to do is to go in there and work hard every day and in every practice to be the best player I can be.”
While Leggett has been at his best playing at striker, he is ready to contribute from any spot for the Huskies.
“They were talking about me as a winger as well as a forward so we will see during the season,” said Leggett. “Wherever coach needs me I will play.”