Sgvsports

coverage of prep and college sports throughout the valley

Cal Poly Soccer Stars Go Pro

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originally posted at diamondbarpatch.com

Cal Poly soccer star Stephanie Sandino was not ready to quit.

So, when former coach Erin Reinke presented the opportunity to play professionally, Sandino took up the challenge.

This summer, Sandino and her Cal Poly teammate Britany Garrett will move on to play professionally for the W-League‘s Colorado Force. The league is widely recognized as North America’s primary development league for women’s soccer.

Sandino, a Diamond Bar native, said she relished the possibility of extending her playing career because it can be difficult for athletes to suddenly stop preparing for competition in a team setting.

“As an athlete you have a set group of friends,” Sandino said. “We’re with each other a lot… We would hang out before and after practice, during practice.”

Sandino said the dream of going pro began in the second grade, when a friend’s father who coached an American Youth Soccer Organization team invited her to try out.

“I always wanted to play in college and maybe even turn pro,” Sandino said.

Sandino then paved her way to an impressive tenure at Walnut High, where she was part of a two-time CIF championship team, as a freshman and a sophomore. But all-CIF selections and other accolades were only the prelude to a decorated college career as a defender for the Broncos.

“Playing for Cal Poly was just something that I was looking forward to since I was a little kid, so once I made it I was like, ‘Here’s my chance to shine,'” Sandino said.

At Cal Poly, Sandino was one of 40 student-athletes who earned CCAA All-Academic honors in 2009 and was named to the Division II Athletic Directors Association (ADA) Academic Achievement Awards.

Former Bronco teammate Bethany Meichsner said Sandino’s dedication to the team translated to hard work on the pitch.

“Steph is the kind of teammate that you can always depend on,” Meichsner said. “And she is a determined and intelligent player who will give her all until the final whistle blows.”

Meichsner said Sandino built team solidarity before games as well with well-chosen iPod playlists.

“It was a way of both bonding, hanging out, and getting ready to play because she always had epic songs to listen to get us pumped for the game,” Meichsner said.

Garrett, who had earlier plans to play in Quebec, said she decided on the move to Colorado to continue playing alongside Sandino.

“As soon as I heard Steph was going [to Colorado], I instantly wanted to tryout because I thought it would be awesome to continue playing with her,” Garrett said.

Garrett spent her high school career at Calvary Chapel in Downey prior to taking the field for Cal Poly. Both Garrett and Sandino said they enjoyed the ride.

“It’s been a dream here,” Sandino said.

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Written by sgvsports

July 6, 2011 at 12:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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