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the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Falcon Spotlight: Sofia Diaz

Sofia Diaz has grown up playing soccer, learning lessons that will always be a part of her, on and off the field.
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Betsy Neal
Diaz is unstoppable on the field, and an extraordinary human off the field.

Senior Sofia Diaz is currently in her final year of high school soccer, finishing up what has been a standout career as a four-year varsity soccer player.  The girls soccer team is currently flying through the district tournament, earning a tough win against district rival BCS in a 1-0 win on Friday night.

The Falcon ladies currently boast a 9-3 record, and hold the top spot in the district, and Diaz has played a big role in the development of the program, which has become a force in the area. 

Diaz’s connection with soccer began at a young age, with a cultural background deeply rooted in the sport, driven by family traditions and a love for the game.

“My culture is really big on soccer. It is a very important part of everyone’s life in Colombia. My dad played, and so did his dad, along with all of my cousins and my sister. So naturally, they forced me into it when I was little.”

Diaz’s dedication to soccer is evident in her involvement with the West Florida Flames, a travel team in Brandon, Florida. Training three times a week from 5-9 pm, Diaz competes in the Girls Academy League, the highest level of high school soccer. Reflecting on the past season, she proudly mentions her team’s 4th-place ranking in the conference, setting the stage for playoff competitions against the top teams in the country.

When asked about her future in soccer, Diaz expressed a desire to continue playing, but is prioritizing her education.

Diaz playing as goalkeeper in for IMG, her club team.

“I am planning to try to get recruited, but nothing is too promising since I have decided to prioritize my education. Everything is up in the air right now.”

Diaz emphasized the importance of choosing a school based on more than just soccer.

She said that to her, soccer is more than just a sport; it’s a way she connects with others, and a way she betters herself. 

“Soccer is the main way I connect with my family. It makes me feel important because it is a big leadership role to take on, especially as a goalkeeper.” 

The game of soccer has had a profound impact on Sophia’s  life, teaching her the values of hard work, time management, leadership, and collaboration. 

“It taught me to work hard and to learn how to manage time and be a leader and how to work in groups of people you might not always get along with.”

Diaz, Isabella Sanchez, Ava Foy, and Julia Villaveces, proudly display their District win trophy. (Mrs. Diaz)

Diaz added that for younger players interested in starting their soccer journey, they’ll find that it’s a great space to create the bonds through the love of the game. 

“The friendships that you build through soccer cannot compare with any other kind of connection you can have with someone else.”

When the Varsity Girls’ Soccer Coach, Mr. Cotton, who has worked with Diaz for three seasons, was asked about Diaz’s commitment to the sport, he could only praise her dedication and versatility on the field. 

“Sofia is super hard-working, always willing to give 110%, and she’ll play anywhere on the field I ask her to play,” Cotton said.

He also emphasized her ability to score crucial goals and step up in important situations.

Diaz’s story is a testament to the transformative power of soccer, not just as a sport but as a source of inspiration, growth, and lasting connections. Whether she continues her soccer journey at a higher level or pursues other endeavors, her passion and leadership will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on those around her.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Black, Staff Writer
Sarah Black is a junior at Saint Stephen's and a first year member of the Gauntlet. Aside from being a staff writer, she enjoys spending her free time snorkeling and watching Zack and Cody. She also enjoys spending time with her two golden retrievers, and her favorite color is gray.
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  • MannyJan 31, 2024 at 10:30 am

    I look forward to seeing the great things that Sofia will accomplish in life!

    Reply