WOMEN’S SOCCER: Valley College freshman forward/midfielder is heading towards the next level.
By Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
At the age of 10, Miriam Ramirez was introduced to the game of soccer, since then her life has only been about one thing: to play the game as a professional one day.
“I was 10-years-old when I started to play soccer,” said the Lady Monarch. “I didn’t even know what soccer was before my uncle introduced it to me. I was the only girl in a boy’s baseball team and I was catcher. Until my uncle just brought me one day to play soccer, I remember I showed up with my brother’s jeans and my baseball cleats and a t-shirt…and since that very first practice, I do not want to do anything else with my life.”
The 17-year-old leading goal scorer for Valley College was born in North Hollywood, California on December 2, but immediately after her birth her family moved south of the border. For Ramirez, the first five years of her life her home was Arandas, Jalisco in Mexico.
And somehow the world of soccer, or as they call it in Mexico fútbol avoided her life. It was not until she returned to the states where she was introduced to the game.
“I originally played baseball,” said Ramirez. “My uncle and my cousins played soccer, and so when I started to play my uncle placed me as a defender because of my speed. I had no skill what so ever, I was just fast, I was also not afraid to go for a ball.”
Even with little skill to start her career, the young Ramirez was placed in a higher level of competition. Her family skipped the America Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), instead she would play against boys throughout the week, and on the weekend she played for her club, with girls.
A few years after barely starting to play soccer, she had become a solid starter for Bishop Alemany High School. It was there when she was not only noticed by her own high school coach but by universities as well.
“In high school I was looked at by the University of San Francisco and by the BIG 10 Minnesota University,” said Ramirez. “But I did not have the grades and I thought my skills would take me where I would need to be, but I was wrong, though they are still in contact with me today.”
A big reason for two powerful soccer programs in the nation to keep tabs on the 17-year-old is her diversity as a player.
She began her career as a defender because of playing with no fear and little skill. But then in high school she developed her game into a defensive midfielder, showing a more technical and creative side.
Now at Valley as a freshman, she has flourished and learned to become a predator in the penalty box, scoring 11 goals and notching four assists as well. She has also become clutch, by scoring five game winning goals in her first season as a forward.
Her first successful season as a Monarch was recognized by the Western State Conference as she was selected to this year 1st team of the conference.
Though the talented Ramirez was not even going to come to Valley originally, no one had contacted her and she did not know about Valley. She was about to sign with College of the Canyons, but in the last second her best friend and Lady Monarch freshmen defender Jasmine Schevitt changed her mind.
One could see that the NoHo native will not be staying at Valley for too long, nor does she plan to. Her dreams are big, transferring out of Valley and then going pro. But before she leaves Monarch Stadium she does have a goal that she wants to accomplish with this program.
“I started to think about it, why go to COC [College of the Canyons] when they are already going to win championships,” said Ramirez. “Instead I thought I should go to a school that was not, so I can help bring them up.”
Monarchs can catch the sixth leading scorer in the Western State Conference in action on Friday, when they face West Los Angeles College at 3 p.m. at Monarch Stadium.