On the women’s soccer team, Silvia Sanchez has a role as a selfless encouragement to her soccer family as well as the preseason PacWest Defender of the Year. This honor preceeds Sanchez receiving the title of PacWest Defender of the Year for 2013.
Sanchez, senior criminal justice and visual arts double major, said she hopes to have a repeat of nationals and the continual familial team dynamics she has experienced since her first season at California Baptist University three years ago.
After graduating from Jurupa Valley High School and playing soccer since the age of five, Sanchez decided to take a break for her freshman year and focus on her studies. However, the break was a short one.
“I remember coming to one of the games here, and right away I called Kristen St. Clair and said, ‘Coach, I want to try out.’ So I walked on and made it,” Sanchez said.
From the second day of practice, since the first day was a fitness test, Sanchez said she felt like she was part of a family, explaining how teammates went out of their way to include her during and after practices.
“Coach St. Clair definitely sets the family tone for the team,” Sanchez said.
For Sanchez, the biggest part of her soccer family is the selflessness she had seen and wanted to show.
“My first season, I did not mind sitting out. My role was a selfless team member, encouraging people on the bench,” she said. “It’s a family thing, and obviously you want what’s best for the team.”
The more time went on, the more playing time Sanchez received, taking advantage of every opportunity.
By her second season she appeared in all 21 games.
By the 2013 season, Sanchez was a starter in all 18 games and rose to being a role model to the other women, exuding consistency while teaching and coaching underclassmen. After a win at nationals, Sanchez was surprised to be named defender of the year.
“All the defenders, all of them, should have gotten the award,” Sanchez said. “If it wasn’t for them I would have not had the opportunity to receive it.”
Now, at the beginning of the Lancers’ season, Sanchez and the rest of the team are looking to prepare for future matches and raising up the seven freshmen on the team.
“I just want to win. I just want what’s best for the team,” she said. “It’s crazy but I love it.”