Dedication, positive attitude brings vitality to young team

By Efrain Valdez, Social Media Editor

When a sport is a part of your life from an early age, you tend to keep that sport close to heart. For Contra Costa College midfielder Andrea Vasquez, the freshman has re-encountered the sport she grew up with — soccer.

Women’s soccer coach Manish Doshi said, “This is the first year, since I’ve been here, that there’s been enough players to actually field a team. Our main goal is to put a team together and Andrea understands that.”

Vasquez did not get an opportunity to play soccer during her high school years because Middle College High School, which resides on the CCC campus, does not have sports teams on campus.

She said that soccer teammate Ashley Portillo invited her out to join the team.

“I played soccer for seven years when I was younger, when I lived in El Salvador, but I broke my hip,” Vasquez said. “I moved here when I was 15. When I got to MCHS I wanted to play.”

Doshi said that he has only known most of the players for about a month but he can tell that Vasquez under- stands that there is an opportunity for success at CCC.

“She really works hard for herself. She gets stuff done on time and knows when to focus,” Vasquez’s friend and CCC student Jose Marquez said.

Vasquez said that it is hard for some college students to find time to play on a team because of the difficulties scheduling classes around practices.

Vasquez’s journey back after break- ing her hip in El Salvador and not being able to play in high school has built a high level of self-discipline in her.

Doshi said that it’s difficult to keep the winless team together because of the players’ work and school schedules.

He said, at a normal practice session only nine or 10 players actually show up. Vasquez said that she plans on continuing to show up to practices and games until the end of the season.

“I just show up to practice and work my schedule around it,” Vasquez said.

The level of focus and compassion that drive the freshman on and off the field is evident to the people around her.

“She’s the type of person you can always rely on,” Marquez said. “Whenever there is an emergency, she has always been there for me.”

“She’s proud to be a student-athlete and knows that this school deserves a team,” Doshi said.

As the team struggles to stray afloat, Vasquez said that she has learned a lot.

“Being on the team has shown me how to be a good teammate, how to trust myself and how to use different strategies for self-discipline,” she said.