Fabiola Zanella da Silva was awarded the Pacific West Conference’s Women’s Soccer Player of the Week award for her performance from Sept. 5-11 in games against Northwest Nazarene University and the College of Idaho.
“In Idaho I was happy with our performance because we were struggling a little bit here [at home] before but once we got there we really played well. It was a good start of the season,” da Silva said.
Da Silva has met tremendous success during her time at California Baptist University. She has earned NAIA All-American first team honors for two years and All-GSAC for three years in a row.
Soccer had been a part of her life for as long as she could remember, da Silva grew up playing the sport with family and friends, but didn’t start playing competitively until around 19 years-old.
While her individual accomplishments are meaningful to her, she reflected that she would much rather win as a team.
“Every time you earn an award it is good for yourself but sometimes in playing a team sport I would trade all my awards for a team championship—for winning as a team. That would make me more happy,” da Silva said. “I wouldn’t get any awards if it weren’t for the team because I don’t play by myself.”
Kirsten St. Clair, CBU women’s head soccer coach said, “She is definitely one of our senior leaders. Fabiola has the respect of her teammates and I know her teammates look up to her. We’ve got a good chemistry on our team and Fabiola is a humble servant leader as well. Her leadership is quite good.”
Da Silva reflected that work and school happened backwards for her. After graduating from high school in Brazil, she had the technical skills she needed to immediately enter the work force in the field of engineering.
However, da Silva eventually realized that she wanted a change. The help and advice of a friend who had recently graduated college in the U.S. was the driving force behind that change.
“I needed something more in my life,” da Silva said. “My friend was like, ‘do you want to try something different?’. . . that was my chance and I took it.”
The decision to make the change was difficult for her, and undergoing the change itself was even tougher.
“It’s hard when you have your job and you think everything in your life is always going to be that way. It’s hard to change. . .You’re going to suffer a lot. You’re going to regret a lot. But after that adaptation time, you start to see things better. In my case, I started to trust God. . .You have to trust God a lot because the future can sometimes be blind.”
Da Silva is currently studying Civil Engineering at CBU. In the long-term, she said that she would love to work in Environmental Design.
With a full academic load and practice schedule on top of part-time library work, efficient organization and time management skills have helped keep her academics, soccer, work and social life balanced.
“You have to give a little bit more of yourself and be more organized to do your stuff first and after you’re going to have some time for you. But engineering majors never have time because we have to be studying all the time. Once you are done with some homework, you already have more.”
Outside of school, work, and practice, da Silva reflected on other things she finds the time to enjoy.
“I love watching movies. On the weekend when I have Sunday off I’m normally watching TV. I like watching TV a lot but I also enjoy traveling a lot—like going to the beach—especially here in the U.S. where I don’t know many places.”
This will be da Silva’s fourth year on the soccer team.
“We’re excited anout what the season holds for her. She has done a great job and she has had a great influence on this program,” St. Clair said.