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Latino Daily News

Friday February 10, 2012

Mexico to Stanford: Teresa Noyola Receives Top U.S. College Soccer Honor

Mexico to Stanford: Teresa Noyola Receives Top U.S. College Soccer Honor

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Teresa Noyola, a soccer standout for Stanford University and her native Mexico, says that the discipline to play well on the pitch should be the same as what is needed to pursue university studies.

Noyola, a senior who led Stanford to the 2011 NCAA championship, last month received the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, the highest award in U.S. college soccer.

“It gives me great pride to have the Hermann Trophy, because it’s a very prestigious trophy and because I admire many of the people who have won it before me,” Noyola told Efe.

“Likewise, I feel good to have won the championship last December together with my team from Stanford, as well as the chances to play that the Mexican national team gave me,” she added.

Born on April 15, 1990, in Mexico City, Noyola was 3 when her parents, both Stanford alumni, decided to settle near their alma mater in Palo Alto, California.

“In general, as a woman you can’t earn a living just playing soccer,” said Noyola, who is majoring in math and computational science.

“Therefore, it’s very important - if someone’s passion is soccer - that (our) studies also be our passion, because a professional career will allow us to earn a living,” she said.

Noyola has been honored as Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

“I like all sports, but playing soccer has always been something natural for me,” Noyola said.

“I became acquainted with soccer through my dad, because in Mexico, when I was little he played goalie in the recreational leagues and he taught me to play soccer,” she recalled.

In her four years at Stanford, Noyola participated in 95 matches, notching 31 goals and 40 assists.

Noyola said that woman’s soccer is popular among children in the United States because it’s lots of fun and you only need a ball, shoes, a uniform and a field with two goals.

“In the U.S. on the adult level American football, basketball and baseball are very popular,” she said. “But as a country it’s been better represented on the level of soccer by female teams and that is because the level of women’s soccer in the U.S. is high.”

Noyola criticized the fact that her native Mexico does not have women’s soccer leagues.

“I think that the promotion of women’s soccer in the U.S. is linked to the cultural acceptance there is about women being able to be athletes, (being) strong and independent, which applies to all sports in which women participate,” she said.

Noyola, as a member of the Mexican national squad, played in the 2011 women’s World Cup in Germany and in Olympic qualifiers last months.