Varsity girls soccer players showcase various athletic backgrounds

By Nika Bondar

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Experienced players in  sports often come with a background in other athletic fields. The girls varsity soccer team has multiple players who have achieved high levels of proficiency in other sports in addition to soccer, which has strengthened their overall performance as players in unique ways.

Senior Fabiola Sucui Zamora, for example, said she has played five sports throughout her life.

Photo courtesy of Alexa Maletis
Alexa Maletis played softball for four years but is currently focused on soccer as it has provided her with more advantages, such as being recruited for college.

“Snowboarding was a good way to channel the daredevil in me, because even when I was little I was always trying out things and jumping off things,” Sucui Zamora said. “Snowboarding was a great way to channel that.”

In addition to soccer and snowboarding, Sucui Zamora said she has surfed, played water polo and played basketball for extended periods of time. She placed in many snowboarding competitions and participated in nationals and showcases throughout the country for soccer, she said. 

Zamora said her passion for soccer stems largely from her family’s background, where soccer is a centerpiece. She currently plays midfield and is one of the three captains on the girls varsity team. 

“My family is Spanish, and in Spain soccer is the number one thing: it divides people, it brings people together, it’s always a common denominator,” Sucui Zamora said, “That’s always driven me.”

Alexa Maletis, a senior, and another captain of the team said she focused primarily on soccer and softball throughout her life. Playing baseball since the age of four, Maletis eventually switched to softball, a sport she has played for four years.

Moreover, as a result of her exceptional achievements in soccer, she was recently recruited to a number of colleges in the midwest, Maletis said. Training five days a week as part of the school team and three days a week as a part of a club team, Maletis said she is fully committed to soccer. However, she admits that her past experiences with softball have helped her better develop a sense of team dynamics.

“I wasn’t super good at softball [but] I was always one of the better players in soccer, [so] it broke my ego a little bit, which is really great,” Maletis said.

Photo by Nika Bondar
Senior Alexa Maletis was recruited to several colleges to play soccer.

Fortunately, her participation in these two sports has strengthened her understanding of the way players with different experience levels come together on one team, Maletis said. 

Senior Taylor Ortiz and freshman Francesca Pastizzo both share experience in field hockey, although both said they selected soccer as their primary passion. 

Pastizzo ran cross country, which she said was very helpful to get her endurance up for the other two sports. 

“Since soccer is my main sport, I liked that I could use the same techniques, but it still worked a different part of my body,” Pastizzo said.

Ortiz, who said she played soccer competitively for over 10 years, started field hockey for fun and also achieved significant recognition in both sports. Ortiz said that playing additional sports has given her extra skill. 

“Because the ball was smaller [in field hockey], it helped my reflexes,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz also said she prefers soccer over field hockey.

“[It is nice not having the] 10 pounds of padding, which makes you feel really gross,” Ortiz said, referring to her field hockey goalie gear. 

This year’s varsity girls soccer team is composed of passionate players with diversified experiences, certain to bring their unique skills and best efforts into each game and practice.

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