Miranda Larranaga fell in love with the sport of soccer at the age of 4.
When Larranaga was 9, she teamed up with 10-year-old Abigail Martinez for the first time.
Larranaga and Martinez suited up for the Ceres Earthquakes club team, which was coached by Miranda’s father Miguel.
Larranaga will reunite with Martinez at Stanislaus State during the 2020-21 school year.
The Ceres High senior recently committed to play soccer for the Warriors.
“Abby’s been encouraging me to go there since the first time their coach (Gabe Bolton) contacted me,” Larranaga said. “It’s so cool I get to play soccer in college with her. We’ve been best friends for eight or nine years. We grew up together. She’s always been there for me for almost every special moment. She’s like one of my sisters.”
Ceres High held a National Signing Day party for Larranaga inside the school’s library during lunchtime on Feb. 5.
Larranaga’s parents, Miguel and Lisa, sister, Edith, and brothers, Miguel Jr. and Benjamin, attended the ceremony.
She also posed for pictures with Bulldog soccer members, including head coach Danny Barragan.
“I’ve always wanted to play college soccer. This is a dream. All of my hard work paid off.”Miranda Larranaga
“I’ve always wanted to play college soccer,” Larranaga said. “This is a dream. All of my hard work paid off.”
“It made me feel good to see how many people were there for me,” she added. They’ve supported me my whole life and never gave up on me.”
Larranaga considered committing to UC Merced prior to signing with Stanislaus State, which compiled a 15-6-0 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Division-II West Region Championship Tournament this past season.
“I didn’t want to go far away from home,” she said. “I have a lot of friends on the team. That played a big part in me wanting to commit to Stanislaus.”
Larranaga would like to follow in Martinez’s footsteps and contribute as a true freshman.
“I’m going to work my hardest and show him (coach Bolton) what kind of player I am,” Larranaga said. “I’m going to try to prove myself.”
A three-year member of Ceres High’s varsity girls program, Larranaga has filled a major role while leading the Bulldogs to an unbeaten 15-0-1 record through their first 16 games this winter.
The standout attacking center midfielder ranks second on the team in scoring with 24 goals.
“I love the sport so much,” Larranaga said. “I’d choose soccer over anything. It’s my No. 1 priority. I’ve never wanted to quit. My dad is my No. 1 supporter. He’s always pushing and encouraging me to do my best. Soccer was our way of bonding.”