The Arizona Wildcats will say goodbye to many senior student-athletes this year. The soccer team will be the first to do so this Thurs, Nov. 7 at Murphey Stadium.
Seniors Jazmin Ponce, Shannon Heinzler, and Ana-Maria Montoya have played together all four years and have been through many ups and downs.
Going into the final home game of the season, the Wildcats (8-7-4) hold a winning record for the first time since the three ladies have been here.
“We have built off the three seasons we have had,” Heinzler said, “we are trying to end on a good note rather than ending on the same note we have the last three seasons.”
For these three, it has been a long road. They have grown closer as a group and have been able to develop a certain bond that has turned them into strong leaders on this year’s team.
“I’m not sure many people know this,” Montoya said, “But we are the only three left of a 12-person recruiting class. It shows a lot of character and a lot about our personalities. We are fighters.”
The team has been fighting all year to find a renewed identity under new head coach Tony Amato. It has been a transition that these three women have been working on to make fluid.
“Even through how much we lost, we have shown a lot of discipline,” Ponce said, “We have never given up. We made a commitment to this school and to this team to be here.”
These three have established, over the years, the commitment and the passion that Amato has been preaching this season. The values that are being put into place for the future have started with their leadership.
“We have demonstrated those values that we have been putting in place just this year,” Heinzler said, “I think that is a reason why we have stayed.”
Even though Thursday’s game will be their last home game as Arizona Athletes, these girls have maintained their outlook from the beginning.
“Every game is special and this is such a blessing,” Montoya said.
“You don’t take anything for granted,” Henzler said.
“You have to take every day like it’s your last because this goes by really fast,” Ponce said.
The Cats will look to earn a territorial cup point as they conclude the 2013 regular season by hosting in-state rival Arizona State on Thurs., Nov. 7. The match is set to kickoff at 2 p.m. and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
Tickets for the rivalry match are still available and can be purchased online with a print at home feature for $8. You can also purchase your tickets at the gate of Mulcahy Stadium (15th and Plumer) on the day of the game for $10. For questions or more information call 520-621-CATS.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat women’s soccer, follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaWSoccer, at facebook.com/ArizonaWSoccer or visit ArizonaWildcats.com.