February 27, 2009

Soccer a Family Tradition for Mustangs Moreira

By John Philip Wyllie

With a father that played professional soccer in Honduras for Olympia, an older sister that starred for Bonita Vista High a few years back and a brother that played for years in the goal, it was only natural that when Ruth Moreira entered high school that she would take up the family soccer tradition.

“I am three years younger than Bianca and I am still constantly compared to her. My sister was a really good player so I just watched what she did. She played on a lot of good teams.”

Mustangs versatile Ruth Moreira Photo: J.P. Wyllie

Like her older sister Bianca, Ruth Moreira began playing at an early age (5) and advanced from recreational soccer to competitive traveling teams. During the scholastic off-season she now plays for FC Bratz a team that spawned former Santa Clara All-American and San Diego Spirit star Jen Lalor among others.

“Ruth is very versatile,” said Mustangs coach, Mike Diaz. “She has good size so she can be a very physical player. Ruth possesses good speed and ball skills and she penetrates well. She also adjusts well to different styles of play.”

As tactical as he is athletic, Moreira is a quick study out on the field and a player that reads the game very well, but her biggest asset is her versatility.

“Ruth is equally effective at forward and on defense,” according to Diaz. “Being able to move her into several different positions really helps out our team.”

“I spend more time on defense and I feel more comfortable back there. That is where I play on my club team as well. As a forward I run a lot, but sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I am doing. I feel more competitive on defense,” Moreira said.

Moreira finds that she benefits off the field from what she enjoys doing on it.

“Playing soccer helps me to keep my grades up. I am not the best student academically, but I did really well this year. When I am playing a sport I am motivated to do better because I really want to play. I make sure I do all my homework so I can (stay eligible) and then have fun and stay in shape by playing.”

Nearly all of last year’s starters graduated in June, so this season has been a struggle for the 4-12-1 Mustangs. The youngest team in Division I, the Mustangs have 10 sophomores playing starting roles.

Moreira, a 5’8” sophomore, has been one of the best. The team has struggled the most in the goal scoring department and that has placed a lot of pressure in Moreira, generally the team’s central defender and goalie Yazmin Osorio.

“Yazmin really excelled for us in goal. She has kept us in a lot of games. She has a long reach and can get to the high balls and is she good in one on one situations. The two of them have really helped us out this year. This is a young team that will be hopefully be a lot better in the future. At least that is what all the other coaches are telling me.”

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