Summer Soriano was shocked when SUU approached her to make an official visit.
Now, Soriano is entering the tail-end of her fourth season as a T-Bird. Soriano has played over 5,000 minutes, been Academic All-Big Sky in three consecutive years and was named to the All-Big Sky honorable mention team after the 2016.
“I’ve been talking about wanting to play Division 1 soccer since I was like 11,” Soriano said.
When Soriano was 11 her father encouraged her to play for a team of 13 year old girls to push Soriano to be her best.
“I was super shy back then. It was really hard for me to start conservations with the older girls, but since I was so shy I think I tried a lot more, and I ended up raising my skill level that way,” Soriano continued.
Soriano played for a small club team in central California. She was scouted at a Thanksgiving tournament where she featured as a guest player on another team. Former Head Soccer Coach Becky Hogan was at the tournament scouting another player, but noticed Soriano’s talent and approached her about attending SUU.
She played as center midfielder throughout all of her club years and that’s the position she was scouted playing. After coming to SUU in 2015 the coaching staff asked Soriano to make the transition to right back, where she immediately made an impact.
Soriano led the team in minutes played as a freshman and became an integral part of the T-Bird gameplan.
Soriano continued to hone her skills using her pace and distribution to contribute more to the offensive end as well as lock down left wingers that ran at her goal. She emerged as a leader and has worked to instill positivity into the team.
“I’m optimistic and positive. Regardless of what working area you’re in, or your profession, you thrive and your group of people thrive when the environment is positive and collaborative. I try my best keep (players at practice) smiling and happy. I like to add something positive at team meetings and to just make people feel good,” Soriano said
Soriano’s smile is bright and her outlook is positive. She insists that she’s shy, but her optimism and positivity are infectious. She looks to carry that outlook with her into the professional world.
Soriano has aspirations to become an elementary school teacher. She is finishing the last semester of Elementary Education and is excited to receive her degree.
“Regardless of if it’s on the field or in the classroom, you need to get along with other people and to motivate,” Soriano said. “I want to do my best to help these kids grow. Soccer and teaching goes hand in hand cause it’s all about people.”
She volunteered in elementary classrooms in high school and fell in love with the kids. She wants to be a part of children’s lives and leave a lifelong impact on them. Soriano laughs about the funny things kids say and loves having an impact on them.
Her success on the field has prepared her for life after soccer. She hopes to leave a legacy of kindness and joy after her time here. Soriano has loved her time in Cedar City and will most remember all of the friends she’s made along the way.
When she was asked about what she wanted her legacy at SUU to be she said:
“I want people to think ‘she was nice, she was kind, and she made me want to be the same’.”
For as good as Soriano has been on the field, she is more happy with the impact she has made off of it.
Story by: Connor Sanders
Photo by: SUU Athletics Strategic Communications