Athlete of the Week: Tormenta’s Holcey makes history for women’s team


HARDEEVILLE, S.c. (WSAV) – As she laces up her cleats before an evening training session in Hardeeville, Elise Holcey can’t help but smile thinking about the moment she fell in love with the sport of soccer at nine years old.

“It began in Savannah because I joined the YMCA and that’s when it really took off,” Holcey remembers. “I played every weekend and then it turned into practices every day. Just that feeling that I got from soccer — I didn’t get it with my other sports.”

Fast-forward eight years and Holcey is now one of the brightest young stars in Tormenta FC’s youth academy.

“I really liked how serious [Tormenta FC teams] were because the change from casual soccer with friends to having a purpose and wanting to achieve more in soccer was nice,” Holcey explained. “The game became more serious and, people playing, it became a harder challenge.”

Now, she’s ready for a new challenge. Last month, Tormenta FC announced Holcey as the first official signee to their women’s team in the brand-new USL W League.

“I thought that came just in time because I was waiting for Tormenta to have a women’s department after seeing how far the men have gotten and seeing how they are nationally,” Holcey added. “I was just ready for a women’s team and I was so excited that they made one. It’s exciting just thinking about the future and some of my friends can join and just how far we can go.”

For Tormenta FC’s staff, the decision to make Holcey the first member of the team was an easy one. “We want to do well on the field, but it’s also about the culture,” Tormenta’s W League coach Jim Robbins said. “It’s about having the right players and it’s also about having players who respect the game or are good ambassadors for the game and want to give back. For me, Elise just checks all the boxes and then some.”

When she’s not busy training with her academy team, Holcey is a Tormenta Futures coach and helps teach the game of soccer to kids ages 2-10. Holcey has hopes and dreams of making the United States Women’s National team but, when her playing career is over, she may have a future in coaching.

“I really enjoy it because when I get to show the little girls that we can play soccer too and even hang with the older guys, it builds their confidence and we get to play more and do more in soccer rather than running around and talking,” Holcey explained.

Whether its coaching up the next generation of soccer players or being a trailblazer for a brand-new team, Holcey has found a home at Tormenta FC.

“We are looking at it as, yes, she can help us today and 2022,” Robbins said. “But also I think she’s going to be an important piece for us in the next couple of years which is fantastic.”

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