*This story was originally published in the first quarter issue of the Eagle Eye*
Senior Samantha Tobar has been playing soccer since she was 3 years old. Coach Roger Thomas of the Soccer Academy & Training decided to help Tobar learn the sport and even created a new age group so that Tobar could play. Thomas helped Tobar discover the thrill of soccer and recruited her to play with the boys team until age 13–an advantage Tobar believes played a vital role in her future as a soccer player.
“[Boys’ soccer] is a lot quicker and way more physical. Girls’ soccer tries to shun away from skillful playing and focuses on just passing. I think that’s what makes me different from everyone else,”Tobar said.
Tobar joined a girls team with Soccer Academy & Training, until the age brackets dissolved; then she transferred to the Elite Club National League at Boca United, playing left and right midfielder.
She played on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School varsity soccer team until senior year when she joined the Academy at Boca United, a stricter, more rigorous travel league that specifically attracts the attention of college scouts.
While playing with the Academy team, Tobar attended various showcases and competitions attracting dozens of college scouts seeking incoming freshman players.
“I was lucky enough to have a good amount of schools looking at me, but once I heard from UF, I knew that was the school I wanted to go to,” Tobar said.
According to Tobar, her commitment to the University of Florida has now exceeded any of her prior achievements.
“I want to be able to start as a freshman which is difficult to do, and that’s basically my goal: to see how much I can play,” Tobar said.
Tobar remains undecided about a major, although she finds an interest in medicine for athletes. After college, Tobar primarily desires to go pro and play for the United States Women’s National Team or any professional club team that will have her.