Jaguar Women make futbol a priority

By: Sofia Medina

There’s something to be said for having a dream so big, so peculiar, that you just throw yourself into it and see what happens. That’s just the dream that Valeria Cazares, a bilingual education junior and president of the team, has for the future of Texas A&M University-San Antonio Women’s Soccer.

Cazares is one of the inaugural students from class of 2020 and was not aware that the campus did not offer a women’s soccer team. At a young age, she always had an interest in the sport, played the game in her high school’s soccer team and also plays for a league outside of school 

She was eager enough to begin a women's soccer team at TAMUSA in order to allow other women who have the same interest to fulfill their passion for soccer.

Far from the brightly lighted fields, every team must start somewhere. For TAMUSA women’s soccer team, the start is at Palo Alto College practice field.

The anxiousness and motivation was in the air as the players met up for the first time. The sky above them was a baby blue color and on the field were the players who have aspired to be a part of TAMUSA women’s soccer team. 

Being at a small campus has been the challenge the team has been facing. “We do get people to come at least once or twice every other week, but getting them to stick to us, to come to most of the practices and being committed is hard,” Cazares said.

Players remained with high spirits as they took their first step in crystallizing the future for the Jaguar Women’s Soccer team knowing that today a child in kindergarten will have the opportunity to play for the team. 

The women's soccer team is currently competing in an indoor 7v7 league around San Antonio, where only seven of the players are on the field throughout the whole game.

Cazares’ main focus is for the team to become an official 12v12 league where 12 players get to show off their talents and techniques on the field. 

 “Because it’s starting, I want to support the school and the team that one day it will be a 12v12 league,” Dennise Martinez, a freshman player said. 

In addition to becoming a larger league, the team will have the opportunity to compete within the Texas Collegiate Soccer League and to get all matching uniforms.

In total, there are only 12 Division III University teams who compete in women’s soccer in Texas. Cazares and her team aspire to be lucky number ‘13’ in a few short semesters to go against other universities such as, Trinity University, UT Dallas and 10 others.

Ryan Day, vice president of the men's soccer team, has advised Cazares in every way possible to get the team going. His job is to be available when the team needs advice, guidance and mentorship. 

While Day is doing something for the men’s soccer team he always advocates for the women's team as well. Day is enthusiastic for the team’s future, “when you have members who care about the success of a club, success is inevitable.”

Cazares believes that the growth of the team rests not in the current players, but in those girls across the state in one day will call Texas A&M University-San Antonio home.