Every Monday for the past 7 months at Champion’s QUEST, the same group of 7 youth soccer girls train on their speed, power, strength, and confidence together. These 7 fast and fierce female youth soccer players enjoy taking their athleticism to the next level and challenging each other along the way. They have goals they want to accomplish and working out together allows them to accomplish those goals together.
Through summer vacations, club season, and ODP tournaments, these 7 youth soccer players always make their soccer athleticism their top priorities in their busy lives. They have goals to play on their High School teams, get the opportunity to compete for a collegiate soccer team, and even the US Women’s National Soccer Team. Looking back over the past 7 months, each girl has accomplished their short term goals of gaining speed and strength. Here’s a closer individual look at each youth female soccer player of the “Fast & Fierce 7” (in alphabetical order.)
#1 ALINA TIRADO – Alina started training at Champion’s QUEST eager to be challenged as much mentally as she was going to be challenged physically. With raw natural talent, she picked up on proper training technique quickly. All that was needed was a rise in confidence to help push her abilities on the soccer field with her Cypress FC club team. Being the youngest on her team, Alina has learned to push past her age and use her athletic speed and strength to increase her contribution to her soccer team. Alina plays outside midfield and works hard each week to increase her speed to take on defenders. She also has been working on her leg strength to add power to her crosses and her shots at the goal. Alina is always constantly is looking to push herself, she even likes to spend extra time in the gym to make sure she is competing at her best. With her mental focus on pushing her body physically and mentally, it will be exciting to see where Alina’s fitness is in another 7 months.
#2 ANALISA GJONOVICH – Back in July 2012, Analisa began training to increase her physical strength on the soccer field and improve her quickness when taking on defenders. She took a short break in the summer of 2013 and then came back to train with the Fierce & Fast 7 this past April. Analisa has had a long history with Champion’s QUEST since her older sister, Adriana “Big A” trained here as a youth soccer player and now has a Cal State Fullerton Soccer banner waving in the gym with her name on it. Analisa is following in Big A’s footsteps of keeping the training aspect in her life while she continues to push her soccer IQ on the So Cal Blues ECNL club team. Her hard work in the gym has helped her with her success on the soccer field leading to her continual recognition in the community. Analisa was recently recognized by her school, Mc Auliffe Middle School, in their Student Spotlight in the PTA Newsletter sent out to the parents of students at the school. She will be 1 of 7 California youth soccer players sent to Boca Raton, Fl this month for an Olympic Development camp. Each Olympic camp she attends helps her towards achieving her goal of playing for the US Women’s National Team.
#3 CASSIE HODGE – Cassie is a tall defensive midfielder with an ability to control the ball in the air and make quick decisions with the ball on the ground. Some aspects of speed and power did not come easy to Cassie but through the weekly training sessions at Champion’s QUEST, she learned to set her nerves aside and focus on improving through every repetition of every exercise. Cassie also wanted to make fast improvements because high school try-outs were this past summer at LB Poly High School and she wanted to be in her best fitness to impress Coach Collins. Her endless hours in the gym and on the soccer field rewarded her with the opportunity to play with the Varsity soccer team during the LB Poly summer soccer tournament. Cassie also was making great improvements with her club team Cypress FC when she rolled her ankle pretty bad in a soccer tournament. Instead of allowing the injury to bring her attitude down, Cassie took some needed rest and then came back full force to training in preparation for the club season. She performed very well this season in the midfield and will take that progress into the high school season coming up.
#4 LEILA HIJAZI – Back in September, Leila was our weekly success story for her overall improvements in her speed, core strength, and dedication to training over the past 2 years at Champion’s QUEST. In 2014, Leila has grown at least 4 inches and has not let the growth stop her ability to gain speed and power. Leila plays in the midfield on her Cypress FC club team and works hard to lead her team to victory each weekend. She has grown mentally a lot in the past year as she likes to be seen as a captain on the soccer field and brings her leadership skills to the gym with her
teammates. Leila has excellent running form and mechanics for squats, lunges, and other power lifting exercises. She loves to be challenged and always has a bright smile on her face through all the sweat. Read more about Leila…
#5 LINDSAY KELLOGG – Lindsay’s older sister Leah was already training at Champion’s QUEST when Lindsay decided to join. Being a goalkeeper for the Cypress FC club team, Lindsay has different responsibilities than her field teammates and different needs in her physical and mental training. From her initial testing, Lindsay is a naturally talented athlete that could play multiple sports if she wanted to. Her biggest hurdle to overcome was to coordinate her raw talent in her growing body and keep a positive mindset with her growing body through the hard training sessions. Lindsay’s training environment needs to be equally mentally challenging as physical, which is probably why she enjoys being a goalkeeper. She has one of the hardest positions on the soccer team and at 13 years old, she has to start gaining more mental control over her opponents. She is always looking to spend extra time in the gym or on the pitch to perfect her goalkeeping skills. Her confidence in her own abilities have grown immensely since she has increased her athleticism in every fitness test. As Lindsay prepares for high school next year, she will be one of the top goalkeepers to watch out for in Orange County.
#6 NICOLE SOTO – Nicole started training at Champion’s QUEST in January 2014 along with her older sister Ashley. With previous speed and strength training, Nicole loves to be active in fitness and improve her athleticism for herself and soccer. If she’s not here at the gym, you could find her in extra soccer skills sessions or running at the beach. With experience with the youth national team coaches, Nicole loves to showcase her speed and excellent defending skills. Besides being one of the Fierce and Fast 7, Nicole continually works on her strength and using her mental toughness to shut down her opponents. She has a lethal corner kick that has assisted several goals this past club season for her Slammers ECNL team. Following in her big sister’s footsteps, she will continue to train throughout her 8th grade year in preparation for high school try-outs next summer to make the Los Alamitos high school Varsity team. With her determination, hard work ethic, and aggressive mindset, Nicole will continue to show that she is a top defender over the next couple years in the tough ECNL league and in front of college coaches.
#7 SARA RUBINELLI – Sara is the other LB Poly Freshman in the group and came in the most petite one. Sara’s goals included gaining more speed and muscle mass to shut down any forward that comes her way. She has worked hard on gaining more muscle these past 7 months and recently hit the “3 digit” weight on the scale. Sara is a very aggressive defender and helps lead her team from the back. Whether she is taking free kicks or talking to her teammates on the field, Sara has a presence on the field showcasing her leadership and confidence. Need visual proof of her confidence against her opponent, check out her scare on her forehead that proves she does not back down from any challenge. Her quickness and speed have improved allowing her to defend easier and help start the attack. It is enjoyable to watch her conquer her nerves in the gym and then use that mental toughness on the field. This high school season coming up will be a great opportunity for her to showcase her skills against older opponents. Besides challenging herself in the gym, Sara and teammate Cassie, take their classroom education seriously in the CIC program at Poly high school. They both enjoy academic challenges and can maturely manage their time in their busy lives.
#8 MAKAYLA MORAGA – Makayla is joining the Fierce & Fast 7 at Champion’s QUEST next week. With her initial testing done, she will need to work on her strength and nutrition habits to help push her to the next level in soccer. She has tremendous speed, it will be great to see her grow with that speed and build her confidence around it. The girls are looking forward to having her in the group and pushing each other. Fun fact: Soccer runs strong in Makayla’s family, her older brother Chris Moraga is the Assistant Coach for the Collegiate Women’s Soccer Program at Whittier College.
With each girl’s personal goals, it is a pleasure to watch them support each other through the difficult training sessions and grow as a team; as well as, individually.
Tagged: Alina Tirado, Analisa Gjonovich, Beautiful Ambition, Cassie Hodge, Champion's QUEST, Cypress FC, ECNL, Leila Hijazi, Lindsay Kellogg, Los Alamitos, Makayla Moraga, Nicole Soto, Sara Rubinelli, Slammers FC, So Cal Blues, Soccer Speed Workout, Soccer Youth Training