Sahuaro Soccer Star Lauren Valenzuela


Marcie Varley, Reporter

Lauren Valenzuela, sophomore, plays for the lady Cougars soccer team as an attacking mid and forward.  She started playing when she was two-years-old when her mom put a team together called The Sharks with USA sports. Then her dad ended up taking over The Sharks due to some of her mom’s health conditions. Lauren then played on her dad’s team until she was 10.

Eight years later, she moved to a new team in the same club called Pink Cheetahs but played with them for only a year before returning to having her dad as a coach.  Lauren tried a new club called FC Tucson, but she played for them for only a year. At the age of 13, Lauren returned to play on her dad’s team for the final year as a Shark.  As Lauren explains, “Being on a team with my dad definitely brought us closer.” By 14 she went to play for FC Tucson again while juggling Sahuaro’s soccer schedule as well.  

Throughout all the teams one common thing remained the same, and that is her nickname, Mighty Mouse. Looking back at all her old jerseys over the years, her favorites were a fancy blue, black, and white striped jersey. Some of her best memories are celebrating after a win by going out to eat. They go to the Main Event, which is like an arcade. After the season was over, The Sharks had an award day at Peter Piper Pizza where they’d hand out trophies. 

While Lauren has many great memories with soccershe has also had some serious injuries. Such as Osgood Schlatter (a disease that causes a painful lump under the kneecap), shin splints, torn Achilles, and currently 2 fractured legs. Despite all her injuries during this school year’s soccer tryouts, Lauren is still out there. “I still can’t run but I can walk now” Lauren explains with hope for the season. Aside from all her injuries some of the worst accidents that she has witnessed have been of someone’s eye getting gouged out. Also, a goalkeeper losing a chunk of their ear. As crazy and dangerous as she knows playing soccer can be, she remains positive. While looking up to some of her favorite athletes such as Mia Hamm, Alex Morgan, and Cristiano Ronaldo, she will always be passionate about soccer and continue to look up to her favorite athletes. Lauren’s plans after high school are to go to college and she would like to get a minor degree in coaching and hopefully get scouted and some scholarships.