Home-Grown Coach Steps in and Saves the Season
Posted: 3/21/2014
The Southwestern College Sun
Written by:  Alma Hurtado & John Domogma

 

Home-grown coachGrowing up in Logan Heights, Carolina Soto could not wait to get out of the South County. Once she did, however, she had a huge change of heart.

Now, after starring in college and playing professional soccer, her heart belongs to the women’s team at Southwestern College and Chula Vista High School.

Soto was asked to take over the SWC program less than three weeks before the start of the season when coach Karyna Figueroa went on maternity leave earlier than expected. Several Lady Jaguar players had already quit before Sotto arrived, but those who stayed say they are glad they did.
“We’ve had our struggles, but overall she (Soto) is a good coach,” said goalkeeper Donna Greenman. “I look forward to figuring out how to make our team stronger.”

Forward Jennifer Rodriguez said Soto made the players into a team.

“She had a lot to deal with through-out the season but she brought it together not only with her skill in teaching, but also relating to us and getting to know us on a different level,” she said. “That really helped out.”

Soto said she was happy to step in. She quickly pulled together the team and posted a 12-7-2 record (9-4-2 conference). Very impressive considering the circumstances.

“I wanted to come back and help my community,” she said. “I want to be a role model.”

Soto said she played with a soccer ball before she could even walk. She credited her soccer-player father with igniting her passion for the sport.

“My dad has been my biggest influence,” she said. “There are pictures of us when I was about 1 or 2 years old and I’m sitting on his lap in his team pictures.”

The Beautiful Game is part of her family heritage, said Soto.
“I’ve always had a lot of support from my father and my entire family,” she said.

It could have been very easy to fall in with the wrong crowd as a young Latina in a place like Logan Heights, Soto said, but soccer became her outlet and ultimately opened a door to a world of opportunities.
“I grew up in a tough neighborhood,” she said. “Other people were out doing things they weren’t supposed to do, but soccer kept me away from that.”

At age 9 she began playing for the local YMCA league and worked her way onto elite teams like Crusaders Spirit and the Bonita Rebels.

After serving as team captain at Montgomery High School she attended USIU then Long Beach State University, earning degrees in kinesiology and Chicano/ Latino studies.

She played professionally for the San Diego Gauchos and coached with Olympic gold medalist Julie Foudy.

Coaching the Lady Jaguars has been a revelation, she said.
“This is my calling,” she said. “I feel completely blessed.”

Rodriguez describes Soto as a person and a coach.

“She has a passion for soccer and for helping players develop their skills,” said Rodriguez. “As a coach she is determined to get the players to be on the same page and flow with each other, no matter the situation.”

SWC News Room Graphic
Recent Posts
A record 816 students are set to participate in Southwestern College’s largest commencement ceremony ever on Friday, May 27, at 4 p.m., in the newly renovated DeVore Stadium at the Chula Vista Campus.... READ MORE
The number of Southwestern College graduates earning an Associate Degree for Transfer, which guarantees admission to the California State University system, increased 138% from 2013-14 to 2014-15, making it one of the greatest increases in the state, according to a new report by the Campaign for College Opportunity.... READ MORE
Soon you will be able to tour the Southwestern College campus from anywhere in the world. We’re not talking about a basic 360 degree panorama, a fully immersive virtual reality experience will give anyone with a smartphone the ability to wander the sidewalks of Southwestern College and witness what the students see every day as they head to class.... READ MORE
Thousands. The number of laps that have been swum in the pools. The number of miles ran on the treadmills. The number of reps lifted in the weight room. The number of students who have been educated. The number of the building... READ MORE
The Southwestern Community College Police Department is now offering Live Scan fingerprinting services to the general public, much to the relief of a growing number of South County job applicants with limited opportunities to access the technology needed for a security clearance.... READ MORE
A free open house at the Crown Cove Aquatic Center will allow participants to get out on the water in sailboats, SUPs, Outrigger Canoes and kayaks, plus be eligible for a free life jacket as the Center kicks off National Safe Boating Week.... READ MORE
A national shortage in qualified emergency medical transportation specialists has prompted Southwestern College to institute a new program to help paramedics and nurses excel in caring for patients being transferred between care facilities. ... READ MORE
It’s the quintessential next step—after high school, you go to college. At least that is what more than 600 Sweetwater Union High School District students thought on Tuesday as they stepped off the yellow school bus on to the Chula Vista Campus of Southwestern College.... READ MORE
Many Southwestern College students have vivid memories of the Mexican drug violence in the region, and its impact was evident recently when Director Charles Minn screened one of his films, “¿Es el Chapo?” ... READ MORE
Student volunteers are gaining professional experience by helping out fellow students and community members with a free tax assistance program at Southwestern College.... READ MORE