When I was three years old my parents signed me up for a community soccer club in Pittsburgh. My mom remembers me sometimes being more interested in laying on my stomach and picking grass rather than following the pack of kids, swarming the ball like angry bees. I have always been known as “the shy girl.” In preschool, I told my mom that I was not going to talk to my teachers, and I did just that for a whole year. I talked quietly and had a blank stare on my face more often than not. Things changed when my family and I moved to San Diego, CA before Kindergarten. Like most kids my age, I obligingly participated in all kinds of activities; however, the only thing I really cared about was soccer. I became obsessed. Playing on a youth national team in San Diego during my early years of life gave me an amazing foundation in both work ethic and knowledge of the game. Not only did my skills improve, but the more I played, a love for the sport ignited within me and my confidence grew. I found “the thing” that pushed me out of my comfort zone -out of my painful shyness- in the form of a ball and a grassy field.
Now living in Pittsburgh, PA, I am a 2-year Varsity letterman at North Allegheny High School, whose student body is over 2,600 students. Additionally, I am one of the team captains for our 2003 Girls SCS United Cup team. This 2019 Fall Soccer Season at North Allegheny was particularly special for us. We went undefeated in our conference, won the Western PA (WPIAL) Championship title and went further in the state cup tournament in program history. I’ll always remember looking at the clock with two minutes left in the game, and knowing we had just won the WPIAL title for the first time. That moment was surreal, because in bonding with my teammates over these past two years, we set out to achieve something that was far greater than any one of us could ever achieve alone. We were the underdogs of the season, but together we made history. It will be a lesson I will carry with me throughout my life. I cannot imagine my life without soccer as it has given me so much. I aspire to play at the collegiate level and perhaps even coach on some level after graduation. My career goal is to become a Physical Therapist like my grandmother. She has inspired me to help others by assisting them in overcoming challenges to achieve their own personal victories-- A common thread that I find between sport and life.