Athlete in Focus: Alex V.

athlete in focus_Shawna_TanArticle by: Yoomee S.

Visual by: Shawna T.

Edited by: Lucas V.

The widely anticipated Super IASAS tournament marked the end of season one, leaving students, parents, and staff alike enthusiastic for what the rest of this Centennial Year has in store for the Bearcat Community. 

Varsity girls’ soccer was the highest achieving team this season, bagging a silver medal in front of the home crowd. BT called upon Alex Villalon—the co-captain of the team who helped guide the girls to this outstanding result—to gain some insight into the driving force and leadership behind the team’s success. 

While Alex’s strong desire to lead differentiated her from her peers, she believes that it was her vast “experience” in the sport that led to her selection captain

As a three-year IASAS participant, Alex provided her team with a backbone of support and a wealth of wisdom that helped them improve quickly and succeed in games, thus proving herself as a widely respected mentor. Furthermore, Alex set the bar high for team with her exemplary conduct and intense  level of play. 

Alex’s duties as captain, however, extended beyond the soccer pitch. Along with her co-captain Lexi S., Alex created an environment of acceptance and approachability that really established the camaraderie within the team . 

Alex reflects that another factor behind the team’s strong chemistry was that the lineup was  “not too different from [that of] last year’s team,”. Prior to the season, most of the girls,have “played with one another for two to three years,” and have grown as a “family” through the shared struggles of the sport.

This sense of togetherness coupled with Alex’s outstanding leadership ensured that the “girls were extremely motivated […] to do well during the Super IASAS.”  The girl’s steely determination allowed them to secure three wins in the round robin stage. While this is truly an extraordinary feat, Alex reflects that sometimes girls “felt as if [they] didn’t give it their all” and could have obtained “better results.” With Alex’s example, however, the girls showcased their professionalism in handling defeat. Alex’s refusal to allow such losses to define their team motivated the girls even further.

Due to their commendable perseverance, the girls were rewarded with an opportunity to strive for gold in the finals against SAS.  Taking a heart-wrenching 1-0 loss, Alex took her coach Birchenall’s advice to heart: “It is okay to lose if you know you tried your best.” With this wisdom, Alex was able to transform the defeat into a learning experience for herself and her teammates. 

This year’s Super IASAS cemented Alex as a proactive and compassionate leader. She has provided positive and personally enriching experiences for each and every member of the team—her absence next year will truly be felt. BT congratulates Alex and the girls’ soccer team for their outstanding performance at IASAS!