By John Philip Wyllie
Bonita Vista High School’s 2-0 victory in women’s soccer Wednesday evening over 2003 CIF Finalist Granite Hills was particularly satisfying for Baron captain and midfielder, Elie Magdaleno. Magdaleno spent her freshman and sophomore years playing for the Eagles before transferring to the South Bay high school last year. Her goal late in the first half provided the Barons with what turned out to be an insurmountable two-goal lead.
“We lost to Granite Hills last year 2-1, so this year it was very satisfying that we won and great to play against my old coach and team,” Magdaleno said before heading off to chat with her former teammates.
As a young girl, Magdal-eno dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer. She studied dance for several years, but when her grandfather, a life-long soccer enthusiast introduced her to the game, she decided to give it a whirl. Now, nearly a decade later, Magdaleno uses the graceful control she once used in ballet to glide up and down the pitch, evade defenders and deliver the ball precisely to the feet of her teammates.
“Elie is a good athlete and she is very versatile,” said Baron coach, Ronne Pietila. “(In addition to her usual spot in the central midfield) she is one of our three rotating goalkeepers. She is strong on the field, uses her head and is a great playmaker. She has also scored several important goals for us. Elie has great vision. She sees the field very well, she is very calm and strong and she often wins the ball for us. Right now, she leads by example, but I am hoping that she will develop into a more vocal leader. Once she learns how to do that, she will become a more complete player.”
The 2004 campaign got off to a slow start for the Barons, the most dominant team in the South Bay over the past two decades, but with a 3-1 victory over Rancho Bernardo followed by Wednesday’s shutout victory over Granite Hills, it appears the Barons are gearing up for another outstanding season.
Magdaleno will no doubt be a major contributor to whatever this season will bring. And she does not expect her soccer career to end there.
“I plan to play (eventually) for a four year college, probably UC Riverside, but first I’ll spend two years at a (local) junior college. Last year my grades weren’t that good. There were a lot of things going on. This year, they have improved a lot. I’d like to go into education and study psychology or maybe become a teacher,” Magdaleno said. In the meantime, there will be lots of soccer to play.