Cory is a budding young scientist of 15, an only child whose about to spend a semester at sea gaining school credit by doing scientific research in Australia. Cory flies to Australia where she boards the bus that will take her to the coast. She falls asleep, only to wake at a school campus as far from the coast as it can be: Cory has accidentally boarded the wrong bus and has arrived an elite soccer academy instead. She's told that it's too late for her to join the other group - but since both programs are run by the same school, the principal (in consult with Cory's parents) agrees to let Cory stay at the soccer academy instead. With her parents in the jungles of India, Cory has no choice but to stay.
Cory meets her new dormmates who are welcoming but Cory is rude to her new friends and soon alienates herself from them. She also quickly meets Edie, a popular girl and start soccer player who dismisses Cory almost at once. Cory also meets Oliver, a charming and handsome boy, who quickly catches her eye.
The girls soon have tryouts, for all of them will be divided into teams for the semester. When the teams are announced, Cory and her dormmates have been put on the "Practice Team". Cory slowly softens towards the others and has an encouraging encounter with Oliver, but she is disappointed to learn that he's friends with Edie, who has quickly become her enemy. After another embarrassing soccer practice, Cory has an inspiration: by using physics, she can improve their soccer playing. She and Janessa begin to experiment with the new method. Meanwhile, the students are informed of an upcoming tournament in which the winners will get to meet Caitlin Foord, a soccer champion. After getting into an argument with Edie, Cory makes a daring bet: the Practice Team will beat Edie's team at the tournament and be the ones to meet Caitlin.
Cory and Oliver's budding friendship is soon threatened when, at a practice game, Cory comes to believe that Oliver helped Edie embarrass her. Now determined to beat Edie at any cost, Cory and the others practice harder than before, utilising Cory's "scientific method" as a way of improving their skills.
The day of the tournament arrives and the two teams left standing to fight in the championship game are Edie's team and Cory's. That night, Cory encounters Oliver and the two have a heart to heart where she explains how she used physics to improve their soccer. Oliver tries to kiss her but Cory balks, both out of shyness and because she's unsure whether to trust him. He assures her that he truly cares for her and that he'll be cheering for her the next day.
The championship game arrives. Cory gives the girls an inspiring pep talk and remains behind to fill up her water bottle, but when she tries to leave, she finds that she’s been locked inside the locker room - thanks to Edie. With the game about to start, Janessa gets everyone to sing the national anthem to buy Cory time, and Cory escapes thanks to a fortuitous arrival by Oliver. Both teams play their hearts out with Cory cheering from the sidelines. Soon the teams are tied and the game goes into overtime. During the game, Edie trips Janessa, breaking her ankle. Each team gets five penalty kicks and Janessa convinces Cory that now is the time for her finally get on the field. Cory is the last kicker and with the kicks tied, it comes down to her to break the tie and win the game. Using her knowledge of physics and soccer, she makes the kick - and wins the game. After the victory, Edie finally comes to Cory and, with a congratulations, asks for her help in improving her game. Cory is given the chance to leave the soccer academy by her parents, but she elects to stay and returns to Oliver and her friends.