By John Philip Wyllie
As the younger sister to two former Eastlake High School soccer stars, a lot was expected from forward Andrea Smith when she arrived on the Titans South Bay campus two years ago. Smith, the daughter of Mexican-born parents, has more than lived up to those lofty expectations.
As a sophomore last season, she led the second place Titans with 13 goals and was selected as a First-Team All-Mesa League attacker and garnered Second-Team Breitbard Hall of Fame honors. This year, she would like to help the Titans do something that no Eastlake women’s soccer team has ever done: win a league championship.
“When my sister played here a few years ago, Bonita Vista used to kill Eastlake (with lopsided scores such as 13-0). Last year we tied them in our first game and lost by a single goal in the second 1-0. If we can win league that would give us our first soccer (championship) banner and that would mean a lot to us,” she said. Smith believes that Eastlake’s balance will give them a good shot at breaking the stranglehold that Bonita Vista has had on the league championship since its inception.
“Andrea never gives up,” said her coach, Amy Gutow-ski. “She has been knocked down and smacked in the face with the ball, but she just keeps on going and somehow gets the ball in the back of the net.” Her intensity and tenacity are what set her apart.
“Andrea is very quick, makes good turns and is a good finisher. She is somebody that we know we can count on to give 100%. She is still only a junior, but a lot of the girls look up to her as our leading scorer and they follow her lead.”
Smith is a leader in the classroom as well with a G.P.A of 4.3 an inquisitive mind and an interest in science.
“My number one choice right now would be to go to UCSD. I’d like to major in Biochemistry and that would be a good place to study it. I’d also like to continue playing soccer once I get into college.”
With her involvement on her club team, FC Bratz, and her role on the Titans, soccer has become almost a year-round commitment for Smith. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I play tennis sometimes for fun, but soccer is my number one sport and I play it all year long,” Smith said. It is still way too early to tell, but based on what she’s seen so far she believes that this season could be very special.
“We tied (perennial Division I champion) Torrey Pines in one scrimmage and beat Marian Catholic 5-2 yesterday in the other.” If Smith and her teammates can build upon what they accomplished last year that long coveted Mesa League banner may be within reach.