AllSportsTucson.com is running a series of brief stories about Southern Arizona high school senior student-athletes entering this school year. The series, first-person accounts from the student-athletes, continues with a profile on Cienega soccer player Mia Torres.
Honors/background: Captain of team 2019-21. AllSportsTucson.com All-Region 5A Southern Arizona selection 2018-20.
Coming into varsity soccer as a freshman in general is pretty scary. I think most people like to hype up that they’re on the highest team and they can’t really go wrong, but coming into high school, making new friends for me was a struggle especially after just tearing my ACL in eighth grade. It was terrifying going into a higher level of soccer with people much more experienced. However, high school soccer gave me the opportunity to meet new people and try new experiences I never had before.
I started off so timid and scared to be outside my comfort zone, but I had some amazing examples and people around me who showed me I could strive to be better and more sure of myself. I strive to play my best every game, and I love the feeling after a hard win that my team comes into the locker room ecstatic. I am usually my harshest critic, so having my coaches and teammates have confidence and trust in me made me believe that I could play beyond myself.
I loved the feeling of working so hard to get a good outcome and the drive to do better next game. Although being a leader on the team was great, I was more proud of how far our team had come and accomplished. From my freshman year losing in the first round to beating Salpointe and going farther than any other Cienega team has gone before last year is just incredible to think about. It’s tough that this year we may not get a second shot, but I am so proud of how our team left a legacy for ourselves and a strong base for more Cienega teams to come.
My greatest hope for the 2020-2021 school year is plain and simple, to have a season. In regards to soccer, I think it’s hard for a lot of seniors to have so much anticipation and drive for the last year of high school just for it to be taken away very quickly. Of course, it’s very understandable with Covid, but my new hope is that the Class of 2021 seniors and I will come out stronger and even more resilient than other generations have before. Even if we don’t have a season, which would be depressing, I hope that after all this, I come out knowing more about working through adversity and appreciating the ability to play soccer with great people when I have that chance.
We didn’t really get to fully know our team this year to this point, but even though I have not got to know some of the new members, I have to say I appreciate all of their dedication and love for the sport. I loved how even when we were questioning having a season, girls were still training and running on their own, preparing for a season we might not have. I appreciate the freshmen coming out and being excited to be part of our team. I appreciate the sophomores’ energy and being ready for another season. I appreciate the juniors having dedication to the cause we work so hard for. I appreciate the seniors more than anyone else just trying to get as much soccer as we could in before we set off to the future. I appreciate our coach Tony Torres especially for doing what he could for us by getting senior pictures and new masks. It’s just everyone doing their best to make the most out of this horrible situation.
Beyond school is a tough question trying to get committed to a specific college, and finding a place that fits is hard right now, but I hope that I am able to find somewhere where I can thrive and just enjoy school. I plan to go into speech therapy in the future. That is my main goal but playing soccer in college is just another bonus that I would be able to have. Right now, I think Covid is just very negative in everyone’s mind, for good reason, but I hope when I look back I’m able to see how it taught me more about working through tough times and finding more about myself now than I ever knew before. Pre-Covid me to me now are two very different people, 100 percent. I am especially grateful for my whole family sticking together as much as we want to kill each other. All jokes aside, they were there for me at my lowest point. I could not have imagined going through this time alone so I am so thankful for that.