Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 33
While Santa Maria native Sierra Duarte is currently resting her sprained ankle, her record over the past few weeks is undiminished. Having scored 11 goals in the 2011 season, she’s already equaled that number, and once she’s back on the field, she’ll likely exceed it by a wide margin. Duarte is a local example of women’s soccer excellence that’s propelled American women’s teams to World Cup victories and gold medals. If she maintains her current trajectory, her future may just include such honors.
In September, Duarte earned a spot as the Santa Barbara County Roundtable Athlete of the Week after scoring three of the team’s four goals in the last 20 minutes of its Sept. 7 match against the College of the Sequoias. Despite the Bulldogs’ tough season this year, with a 4-6-2 overall record (2-2 in conference play), Duarte helped to lead the team on a three-game winning streak against Cuesta College, West Hills College, and Oxnard College. Duarte stated that the team’s struggle early in the season was partly due to a lack of cohesion: “Teamwise, we really didn’t have much summer conditioning because everyone had hectic schedules. We started out kind of late, and we just started clicking recently.”
To improve the team’s ability to work together, she noted the importance of focus and that recently “practices have definitely been more intense.”
As a local, Duarte enjoys playing for the Bulldogs.
“I like how it’s local girls, opposed to club teams where you have to travel, she said. “I like how we just have to go around the corner to practice and everyone is friends on the team.”
Duarte hopes to transfer after this year and continue her soccer career elsewhere.
“Hopefully I get picked up by a college,”
As for her studies, she noted, “I am focusing on general ed. right now, but my major is recreation.”
Along these lines, she wants to do “something active” for a career; “I don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day,” she added.
The Bulldogs face Cuesta College for a second time away in San Luis Obispo on Oct. 26. On Oct. 30, they’ll have their second match against Oxnard College at 7 p.m. on Santa Maria High School’s field.