Garcia Kicks off Exciting Last Season

Gustavo Damian Danemann Soto, Editor-In-Chief

   Senior Elisa Garcia, also known as “Lisy”, recalls playing a championship match 40 minutes before taking a flight. She said, “I was dribbling down the field and found [Senior] Eliani Suarez out wide in the final third. She crossed a beautiful ball right to my right foot. I made an inside cut around the defender in order to get a shot off and I struck the ball into the top left corner to finish the winning goal.” Mere minutes (and a trophy) later, she was boarding the plane.

   Garcia began playing soccer at the age of eight, when the father of one of her softball teammates encouraged her to try out the sport. By the following year, she was playing in a Club Team.

   She currently plays as a center midfielder, making her the key link between the team’s defense and the attack. This is no easy feat, as Coach Jason Donlon can attest to. He said, “She is the center of the team, and she is the heartbeat of our family this year. She has always been, and will always be a central figure to our environment.”

   Outside of soccer, Garcia is also a role model of the UC High community. She has an impressive 4.7 GPA, taking a handful of Advanced Placement and Honors classes. Garcia is also part of a handful of the school’s clubs, including Habitat for Humanity, Casas de Luz, Ultimate Frisbee, and Candles for a Cause.

   “She works hard and puts in the work. It’s very visible to everyone,” said Junior Grace Doolittle. She added, “Elisa is always the first to practice and the last to leave. She’s very much a clear leader.”

   “What stands out about Elisa both on and off the field is how supporting and encouraging she is,” said Junior Mia Ramirez. She continued, “When I first made it to the team, Elisa was very welcoming from the get-go and made me feel comfortable with the rest of the team.”

   Donlon shared, “She wasn’t immediately drafted to varsity her freshman year, but she kept her head down and did the work and we noticed her even more as we began training. We pulled her up [to play on the Varsity Team] our first game of the year after our holiday [tournament], where she willed herself to score the winning goal [against San Diego High]. I’ll never forget it. She has never left varsity since then.”

   Her peers have equal praise for Garcia’s character outside of practices and matches. Ramirez said, “Off the field, she is a very calm and shy person at first. But once you get to know her, she is super fun to be around.” Doolittle described Garcia as “…very kind, hardworking, funny, and someone who stands up for you.”

   Donlon said, “She will be sorely missed… So we will enjoy all that she will bring and contribute in her senior year.

   The students and players below her are very fortunate to witness her and the stamp she has put on the UC High Girls Soccer Team and school community as a whole. From a staff point of view, I just hope we have made her feel as special as she is.” Congratulations Athlete of the month.