By John Philip Wyllie
Despite its slow 1-2 start, San Diego State is expected to field one of its best women’s soccer teams in years this fall. Former Rancho Bernardo High School standout Kim Castellanos, third on the all-time list of Aztec goal-scorers (with 32 goals), will attempt to build upon last year’s impressive nine goal, six assist performance in this, her senior season. Castellanos has accounted for all three of the Aztec goals this year and the first team all-Mountain West Conference returnee is being counted on to once again supply the Aztec’s scoring punch.
“We have a really good team this year,” Castellanos confirmed. “My goal is to stay in a positive frame of mind and be able to look back on my senior year with no regrets. Everybody is fit, we are all playing for each other and everyone is on the same page, so we should be improved over last year (when the Aztecs went (13-7-0 and 3-3-0 within their conference).”
Castellanos is one of a growing number of Hispanic women to embrace the sport and excel in college, but she is not the only local Latina representing the Aztecs this season. She is joined by Sophia Perez (Bonita Vista H.S.), Erica Lopez (Vista H.S.) and Lisette Martinez (Hilltop H.S.).
“You don’t see that many Hispanic women playing Division I soccer, so it is a good feeling to have a few friends on the team (with a similar background),” Castellanos said.
While Martinez has represented Mexico (on the U-19 youth national team), up to now, Castellanos has not.
“The Mexican national team has been wanting me to play for them since my junior year of high school, but I really wanted to grow first through playing soccer in college.” With her SDSU career now coming to an end, Castellanos is unsure what the future may hold.
“Soccer has been a big part of my life, but I also want to graduate with a degree in Criminal Justice Administration,” Castellanos explained. As a freshman, she struggled to maintain her academic standing while at the same time competing in soccer. Out of necessity, she quickly adjusted.
“There is help all around you, so your success just depends upon the amount of effort you put into it,” she said. “Now, I am stuck between wanting to pursue soccer and developing new goals. Someday I want to work helping teenagers and children.” The question for Castellanos is when. “Whichever I choose, I will put my heart and soul into it.”