Monarchs Midfielder Hoped to Play at University Level

Valley College soccer player hopes her performance on the field can get her to the next level.

By Jorge Belon, Staff Writer

Sophomore midfielder Rebeca Lujan led the Monarchs 2013 team with seven assists, and contributed three goals. The 21-year-old midfielder, hopes her performance on the field can send her to Kansas to continue her education and soccer career.

“Rebeca was a major part of our offensive triangle,” Monarchs coach Greg Venger said. “It is going to be very hard to replace her next season.”

For the Arleta native, soccer impacted her life at a very young age, as she became the first girl in her fam ily to play competitively.

“My grandfather was a major rea- son why I began to play soccer,” Lujan said. “He use to play in Mexico, and I wanted to be like him so I began to play at the age of five.”

According to Lujan, every time she saw her grandfather they would talk about soccer and practice for hours.

Lujan played consistently every Saturday she could, but she didn’t start playing on a team until her grandfather passed away.

“I began to play because I felt it would make him proud,” Lujan said. “He was not here anymore and I felt by playing soccer, it was a way I could always remember him; since we both love the game so much.”

She began playing at Pacoima Middle School where her talents were noticed from the coaches of the Valley United Soccer Club, and they offered her a chance to play.

“Coaches would approach my parents and me to offer me a chance to play for club level,” the midfielder said. “But we could never afford the money, until one day a coach came and told my parents that he would pay everything as long as I played.”

Lujan continued to improve, but when she reached Arleta High, she found out that the Mustangs did not have a girls’ soccer team.

“I was really mad about that,” Lujan said. “So I began a petition to bring a girls’ soccer team to Arleta, and in the 10-grade-the team was formed and I was ready to play.”

Her first couple of seasons with the Mustangs were not the best, but she continued to play until she graduated in 2010.

Her freshman year at Valley, Lujan suffered a torn ACL forcing her to take two years off from playing. She did not return until this year when one of her teammate April Ortiz, convinced her

to get back on the field. “I’ve always loved playing the

game, but it was sad to see that the coaches in my freshmen year did not take any pride for coaching Valley,” Lujan said. “But under Venger, I found myself excited to come to practice: I was not ashamed of wearing my Valley sweater around campus anymore, like I was in my freshmen year.”

With the season over, Lujan wants to compete at the next level. She is the first generation in her family to attend college, and wants to be the first to graduate from a four-year university.

“I am looking towards to playing in a four-year school,” Lujan said. “At the moment Coach Alex Harrison is in the process of trying to get me to Kansas to continue my soccer career.”

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