Jocelyn Lopez has made a major impact during her first season with the Stanislaus State women’s soccer team.
The 2019 Central Valley High School grad was honored by the California Collegiate Athletic Association on Nov. 14.
Lopez’s outstanding play on defense earned her a spot on the CCAA Second Team.
“I found out through our coach,” she said. “He texted our team. It was a nice surprise. Playing a new position this year, I didn’t know what to expect.”
Lopez was recruited to play forward for the Warriors but switched positions out of necessity.
She started at center back.
“My full intent was to play her at forward,” Stanislaus State head coach Gabriel Bolton stated. “But we needed help on defense. She’s so skillful with the ball. She’s a very bright player.”
“You can’t panic back there. You have to stay composed. You have to be confident and quick with the ball.”Jocelyn Lopez
“You can’t panic back there,” Lopez added. “You have to stay composed. You have to be confident and quick with the ball.”
Lopez has started every game for the Warriors.
She ranks first on the team in minutes played.
She’s played a total of 1,723 minutes.
“It’s been a really good first year for me,” she said. “I’ve been able to positively impact the team. I play alongside some amazing players. I’m having a lot of fun.”
Stanislaus State was awarded a berth to the NCAA Division-II Soccer Championships on Monday.
The sixth-seeded Warriors (15-5-0) will face the third-seeded Western Washington Vikings (18-2-0) in a West Region matchup on the road this Friday at 10 a.m.
Stanislaus State mustered just eight wins in 2018.
“We have a really good record this year,” she said. “It’s an extreme turnaround from last year. All the training we did on and off the field has paid off.”
Lopez enjoyed competing in front of family, friends, and former teammates and coaches at Warrior Stadium.
“It was pretty special,” she said. “Almost every game, I had someone new show up to come and see me play.”
Lopez became the first female athlete from Central Valley High School to earn a college soccer scholarship when she signed a national letter of intent with Stanislaus State on Dec. 5.
A four-year starter in high school, Lopez helped lead Central Valley to 77 victories, one section finals appearance, four conference titles and four playoff berths.
Lopez scored a program-record 96 goals and dished out 45 assists during her career.
She won her second consecutive league-Most Valuable Player award this past winter.
Lopez had 33 goals and 11 assists on the year.
“Time management is pretty tough,” Lopez said while talking about the challenges of balancing academics and athletics in college. “Being a student comes first.”