Most Viewed Stories
Rodriguez's mom helps convince goal scorer to play soccer
Most coaches and players say that part of goal scoring is just being in the right place at the right time.
Yuma High sophomore striker Daisy Rodriguez seems to have found a schedule.
Although it's only three games into the season, Rodriguez already surpassed last year's team goal total by herself. The Criminals struggled last year going 1-11 and only scoring 11 total goals. This year Rodriguez has 12.
“She helps make stuff happen with the support of the midfield,” said Criminal head coach Tom Coxson. “This year Daisy's definitely helping as far as us finishing.”
Rodriguez moved to Yuma from California before her freshman year and despite playing on the Yuma Legends FC team, she did not go out for high school soccer.
“Last year she was here and she said that she didn't try out because she didn't know anybody on the team,” Coxson said.
Coxson was talking to Legends and Yuma Catholic girls soccer coach Jesus Quintana, who mentioned Rodriguez, and between Coxson, Quintana and her mom, they convinced the timid striker to play.
“I was kind of scared last year because I'd barely moved here from California and I just wanted to get used to the school,” Rodriguez said. “My mom was like, ‘Come on, start playing soccer. I want you to play.' She said I'm really good and that I was made for this.”
Turns out that motherly instinct was right. In her first game, Rodriguez scored five goals in the Criminals 6-0 win over Lake Havasu.
“Two of the goals were by herself and the others were three different girls giving assists to Daisy, and then Daisy gave the assist to Daniela Angulo, who scored the sixth goal,” Coxson said. “It was just the constant pressure in that game.”
Rodriguez continued to flourish in their next game against Yuma Catholic, facing her former Legends coach Quintana. Rodriguez scored all four goals in the Criminals' 6-4 loss to the Shamrocks.
“On our Legends team, we had some good players that were experienced and a little bit more aggressive and she was taking a back seat,” Quintana said. “With the group of players at Yuma, she can take a little bit more of a leadership role because of the fact that she does have experience and good speed. When you find a player that can contribute to the team, you need to use her in the way that she can help the most. That's what she's doing to help her team.”
In their most recent game against San Luis, Rodriguez had her lowest-scoring game, netting a hat trick in their 4-1 win.
Despite all of the spotlight that comes with pummeling the back of the net, Rodriguez defers most of the glory to her teammates.
“(My teammates) help me out,” she said. “My midfield and my defense help me out, the training that keeps me going.”
The Criminals only lost four seniors last year and are anchored this year in the midfield by seniors Eli Caro and Amanda Martinez.
“If all goes well, I foresee a possibility of a 9-3 finish on the year,” Coxson said. “In my mind, that's best-case scenario. That's if we do well against Yuma Catholic in our next game against them, then we have a few really tough games. I think we have some really winnable games in front of us if we put it all together and work as a team.”