Sofia Huerta, a junior forward on the Santa Clara women’s soccer team, had one dream growing up in Boise, Idaho.
“I had a scrapbook when I was younger playing soccer, and I cut out a little piece of paper with the cool scissors and it says ‘One day I’m going to play on the U.S. national team,’” she said.
Her dream has come true, sort of. While she plays for a national team, it isn’t the United States at this point in time. Holding dual citizenship, Huerta currently wears the red, white and green for Mexico when she isn’t suited up for the Broncos, but is still holding out for the day when she can represent the stars and stripes.
The All-American forward has continued to evolve as an intimidating force for the Broncos’ attack over the past three years, racking up numerous goals and assists en route to keeping Santa Clara among the nation’s best women’s soccer programs.
But, the all-important call Huerta has been waiting for from the senior leaders of the U.S. brass has not been made for some time.
As a 14-year-old, the youngster competed at the United States’ camp and immediately found success, dribbling circles around opposing defenders. But during the first full day of practice, Huerta tore both quadriceps muscles and was sidelined due to the injury.
Huerta would not receive another opportunity to solidify a position with the Americans until she finished her first year at the Mission Campus. At the behest of Santa Clara Head Coach Jerry Smith, she was given a second chance to lace up a pair of boots and duke it out against her fellow countrymen.
The results were not what she’d hoped for.
Competing against players who had spent a number of years playing together, mastering each other’s idiosyncrasies, Huerta was out of the loop and lacked chemistry. Despite being one of the nation’s rising standouts, the Boise native was once again left without a spot on the U.S. roster.
During that time, Huerta was just a freshman in college, learning how to balance academic, athletic and social life. Still a rookie, she also lacked a vital tool necessary to become one of the best in any sport: confidence.
“I know I’m a good soccer player but then I know that I have flaws in the way I play,” she said.
Smith has told Huerta that she has the attributes to become a world-class player but the Santa Clara star has found it difficult to buy in completely, a quirk that has hampered her at times during her run on the pitch.
“The U.S. can see that; if you’re a confident player,” said Huerta. “They study that and they know. So I think they definitely had an issue with it and if I would have been a little more confident, I probably would have played better as well.”
Confidence may have been the only thing that kept Huerta from wearing the red, white and blue a couple years ago.
“If she wants to have a good game, it’s up to her,” said Alesha Blair, one of Huerta’s former Santa Clara teammates and longtime friend. “There are not too many other factors that can really dictate how well she is going to do and that’s a luxury a lot of players don’t have.”
In the previous two seasons, Huerta’s self-confidence has been growing exponentially. The Bronco’s offensive machine led the Santa Clara squad in overall points (40) and goals (16) this past fall and helped lead the Broncos to the No. 7 overall ranking in the country. Because of her output on the field, Huerta capped off the 2013 campaign being named an All-American and West Coast Conference First-Team member.
This recent success has solidified her roster spot on the U-20 Mexican Women’s National Team. In only a few appearances, Huerta has steered the relatively mediocre Mexican side to some triumph at the most recent FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Switching allegiances and playing for the Americans is still on the table for the soon-to-be senior at Santa Clara. Being a native of the U.S., Huerta can utilize her one-time switch allowed by FIFA to take the pitch and play for her dream team.
“I think it comes down to her buckling down and doing it,” said Blair. “If she puts her mind to it and if she’s willing to put in the hours of work to be the best at all aspects of her game; if she’s willing to do that and if the factors that make the U.S. team difficult (to play for) fall into place, I don’t see why it can’t happen.”
In the near future, Huerta could be called up by the United States’ U-23 team and work her way towards becoming a full member of the senior roster.
“If I’m doing well and I focus and I give up some things to reach my potential and the U.S. senior team called me, there would be no question in my mind that I’d play for them and not Mexico,” she said. “That wouldn’t even faze me.”
— Brendan Weber
Antoinette Paris Marrero, “Twon” to friends, has had her dream job lined up with GAP since she interned there in San Francisco last summer. Staying in California for college was an easy decision for the San Diego native. But with her Business Marketing major and Retail Studies minor, New York City seemed a perfect place for her career path after college.
“I imagined having a job after school and being able to live in a big metropolitan city. I have been able to achieve that goal. I originally thought I would be in NYC and working in fashion, but I will be doing that in SF and things are going according to how I planned,” she confesses.
A current senior at Santa Clara University, Marrero is leaving knowing she has taken full advantage of the career related resources Santa Clara has to offer. Using the career center and the Retail Management Institute, RMI, to line up internships, such as her place at GAP last summer, Marrero wanted to secure her access to the job world after college.
“It was a lot of work, but such invaluable experience,” Marrero’s answers about her time as a part of the Santa Clara Business School. While Marrero has the optimal situation for life after graduation, her situation is the goal, not the norm for most graduates.
Another senior at Santa Clara University, Blair Boone, is in a very different position than Marrero. With no job lined up, a tentative plan to move to San Francisco and graduation only a few weeks away, Boone is at a crossroads. Most of us will be Boone’s shoes in just three short years. As the job market increases in competitiveness, Santa Clara University is doing everything they can ready their students.
“To be honest it was hard for me to envision what my life would be like after I graduated because I was so caught up in being a freshman and I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do after graduation… I have learned so much over the past four years and I feel confident going out into the world and finding what I am passionate about,” Boone says.
Boone is confident in her education and her ability to find a job that she enjoys. Boone is currently in her Senior Thesis class, “The Science of Happiness.” “It has been my favorite class at Santa Clara. This class has taught me to find a career that truly will make me happy. It does not specifically talk about my career interest, but it has inspired me to find a career that will enhance my happiness no matter how small or big the career is,” says Boone.
Marrero and Boone happen to be best friends. They have lived together their senior year, and been by each other’s sides while observing this massive transition into the “real world.” Both Marrero and Boone are going to be at completely different places after graduation. They do have one thing in common though, Santa Clara.
“…take everything one day at a time. It is ok to not have any idea about what you want to do after graduation because sooner or later it will come to you. Do not feel overwhelmed or afraid by career paths because as the years go on you will meet people who will help guide and support you. These are the fastest, most fun four years of your life so enjoy every minute of it. Go to class and learn as much as you possibly can because SCU has so much to offer to everyone. Find something that you are passionate about and run with it, especially if it makes you happy,” Boone states nostalgically.
As seen in 1st picture above: Antoinette Paris Marreo (left) and Blair Boone (right)
As seen in 2nd picture above: Blair Boone (left) and Antoinette Paris Marrero (right)
-Molly Jean Clark
Last night I had the opportunity to watch some of my fellow Broncos in SCU Presents’ production of Goodness. It was both mesmerizing and thought provoking.
(Side note: You will NOT regret purchasing an Arts Card, my only problem is I waited until Senior year to take advantage of this program)
The play follows the journey of the playwright (yes, the playwright is a character) as he learns about genocide and seeks to answer the question:
“Why do good people rush to do evil? And what do they become?”
No description can accurately depict the feeling of watching this show. With a small cast of six actors in the intimate Fess Parker Studio, the experience is truly unique and beautiful.
As Goodness completes its run this weekend I encourage you to attend a showing for yourself. Goodness is an excellent example of they type of interesting and enriching productions our Theatre and Dance Depart puts on here at SCU.
More information about Goodness can be found on the Facebook event page or at the SCU Presents website.
As we approach the end of May, one of the best long weekends of the year is upon us – Memorial Day Weekend. It marks the tentative beginning of summer, most colleges are done (minus ones on the quarter system like our dear old SCU), and the weather has turned for the better. Memorial Day gives us three whole days to enjoy these things.
Some people might spend Memorial Day with family and friends; barbecuing, swimming, and enjoying time together. For us students not from the Bay Area and surrounding cities, this is not always possible. Often times when the campus empties out on such three-day weekends, us out-of-towners are left in the dust. The best remedy for a situation like this? Grab your friends and hit the road.
Instead of a day trip, make it a weekender. Here are several destinations that will turn Memorial Day Weekend into the highlight of your quarter:
One of my personal favorites, the Santa Cruz and Capitola area lacks next to nothing when it comes to beach entertainment. From the boardwalk and roller coasters to pleasure point and surfers galore Santa Cruz has so much to offer. With it’s great food and unique downtown area, you could easily spend a weekend in this area without getting bored. With all these amenities in mind, what else do you honestly need besides the beach? Rent a board and wetsuit at one of the many surf shops along 41st street and get in the water, or watch the many surfers already out there from above on East Cliff Drive. Santa Cruz provides the perfect opportunity to slow down the pace and relax. A weekend here is never wasted.
Monterey & Carmel
Just an hour south of Santa Cruz you can find the town of Monterey -which boasts an awesome aquarium and Fisherman’s Wharf if you want to play tourist- and in just another 10 minutes you’ll find Carmel. Both towns have awesome beaches, cute shops downtown (if you’re into that kind of thing) and gorgeous views and opportunities to bask in nature’s glow. The hiking here is only a preview of what you’ll find further down in Big Sur, but a great way to dip your toes in nonetheless – Point Lobos is just 3 miles south of Carmel (where this picture was taken). And you can’t forget about the food – there are countless delicious places to eat, from the hole-in-the-wall cafes to the higher end places in Carmel. If you want to do it right, try some fresh seafood, or grab a sandwich from a local deli and head to the beach.
World renown for its beautiful coastline views (like the one above), Big Sur boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in California. Continue past Carmel just another hour south and you’ve hit the jackpot. While Big Sur constitutes the true outdoorsman’s heaven, I think just about anyone would appreciate a weekend away from it all in this natural wonderland. There are countless state parks and camp groups that are reservable for a couple days. Try Pfieffer Big Sur State Park (pictured above) or Kirk Creek Campground which sits on the bluff overlooking the ocean. Any amount of time spent in this area is sure to be time well spent.
While four hours might seem like a stretch to some, once you get close to Tahoe time flies by as you enjoy the amazing scenery. South Lake Tahoe may be known for it’s casinos, but there is much more to it. There are plenty of hikes around the lake, but once the weather gets warm (or you decide you are tough enough to brave the cold water) the beauty of this lake makes water activities unparalleled. Kayaking around the lake is always a staple, but there are plenty of shops that advertise their SUP rentals – stand up paddle boarding. Get a workout in while you take in all that is Tahoe. Lodging in motels is usually fairly cheap, but if you are feeling up to it the camping, here is a great way to really immerse yourself into the true Tahoe experience.
SF is one of the most well known cities in America – and for good reason. While a day trip is doable, making a weekend of it allows you to truly take it all in. From the iconic Golden Gate bridge to the diverse and eclectic downtown, there is something for everyone. One of the best things about San Francisco is the food. Whether you like Italian, Chinese, American, or French, there is probably a section of the city dedicated to it. If you’re going to do it in a weekend, check out Little Italy, where the options for authentic Italian food will make you wish you had a bigger stomach. Also on your list should be Chinatown; if you’re looking for a cheap knockoff of some sort this is also the place to go 😉 We can all agree that authentic Chinese food often puts neighborhood joints – and Panda Express – to shame. However, one of my favorite places in San Francisco is Haight Ashbury. The epicenter of the hippie movement in the 70’s and later on, that vibe still remains. The street is lined with clothing and smoke shops (and good food of course) reminiscent of this free-spirited era. There’s also a Ben & Jerry’s, which is just another reason to get off the main grid and head up there.
With all the incredible things there are to do within a few hours of Santa Clara, it’s hard to ever be bored. So get out, explore, and make the most memorable Memorial Day Weekend yet.
The ensuing weekend brings one of the most talked about event of the year for a Santa Clara Student. Known to runners as just another 10K footrace through a beautiful City, Bay to Breakers for many others is a “moving party.” Dress code is lenient. If not actually running in running attire, basically anything goes. It is a staple to the Northern California area, and something to check of the “To-Do Before I Graduate” list for most Santa Clara Students. If you are participating, dress crazy, have fun, be safe, and enjoy the amazing city on the bay.
-Molly Jean Clark
Living in California certainly has more pro’s than con’s. However, the occasional heat wave is enough to get every Californian sweaty and irritated. It is particularly frustrating as a student, because we have to dress for the heat, get from class to class in the heat, and sleep in the heat…without air conditioning. It isn’t that I don’t like warm weather, I do! But when it gets to a temperature when it is too hot to be outside, sleep, or be productive, it becomes a bit of an issue. The best way to beat the heat is to drink lots of water, dress appropriately, and wear some SPF. Chances are the heat wave will pass in a few days, so try not to let it drag you down and make the most of it!
– Tisha Ferraro
The freshman-15 is no joke. Seriously, everywhere you go in college there is something artificial, salty, sweet and fattening calling your name. Days and days of bland Benson salad, quinoa in everything, and lots of Diet Coke, gets us absolutely no results. Not to mention, every hour of the day at the gym is jammed packed with miserable hopefuls trying to get a decent workout in. I admire these people, I really do, but it takes everything I have not to turn around, walk back to Swig, get in my bed and Netflix my life away. I am a big believer in eat healthy, feel healthy, but sometimes the urge to buy (and nearly finish) an entire box of Cheez-Its is just too strong. I suppose making good, healthy decisions is all it takes to keep that F-15 off, but every once and awhile the YOCO inside of all of us kicks in, and you just have to get the extra slice of pizza, even if you’ll regret it later. You deserve it.
– Tisha Ferraro