“It doesn’t come naturally.”

Junior Diana Centeno differs from what is considered normal in today’s soccer society. Unlike many of her teammates, who have played for multiple years, as well as their families, Centeno and her sister are the first in her family to express any interest in the sport.

Despite her sister’s interest, she did not consider it until her peer, Martha Valencia, recommended she play for her sophomore year. Centeno found it difficult to get into the sport, with her teammates already so passionate and experienced, that she could not easily relate to them.

Despite this, she felt a sense of unity within her team and thrived on their encouragement. “I work with a team that’s motivated to play and become better.”

This pushed her to remain persistent and practice consistently.

As she continued practicing, she noticed she genuinely began enjoying the sport. She found thrill when in pursuit of the ball, and waited eagerly when watching from the bench. The constant encouragement from teammates kept her insecurities at bay.

Though she has improved, she still is aware of the struggles she has playing soccer, but remains optimistic. “I still have a lot to learn and practice, especially now that I am on Varsity.”