Saturday, May 28, 2022

Flower Mound soccer standout headed to Aggieland

Sydney Becerra finds herself in an interesting position.

The Flower Mound High School midfielder was last year’s District 6-6A MVP, the Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year, and helped lead the Lady Jaguars to a state championship.

But she will not be playing for Flower Mound High School this season, as she has committed to Texas A&M University, where she will begin classes this spring.

“The NCAA does not allow practice ‘till two weeks before the season starts, which in my opinion is not enough time to prepare for a season,” Flower Mound coach Misail Tsapos said. “So I think they bring in their incoming freshmen early to have time with them on and off the field.”

Tsapos said while he would love to have his senior midfielder back for the 2021-22 season, he does believe that A&M is a good fit for Becerra.

“A&M has always had very athletic and fast forwards,” Tsapos said. “With her ability to pass and see the field, she would be able to find runners to create scoring opportunities for her team. She is such a good finisher that even if teams drop to prevent her from getting balls behind them she can shoot and finish from distance.”

The Flower Mound senior said it was a difficult decision for her to make, but she felt it was for the best.

“Moving away from home will be a challenge, but it’s something I’m definitely prepared and excited for,” Becerra said. “I’d really enjoy playing another year of high school, but I ultimately made the decision that it was best to go ahead and take the next step.”

Becerra’s situation is the result of years of hard work and dedication that started with a 4-year old girl playing soccer with her big brother.

“My brother played, and I was always around the sport, so I was very interested in playing too,” Becerra said.

What started out as a fun way to pass the time as a young child, quickly grew into a fascination with what soccer legend Pele referred to as “the beautiful game.”

“There is always something new to learn or improve on,” Becerra said. “What appeals to me most is how the game flows. Throughout each game or practice, you have to constantly be in a state of awareness. The game allows you to be creative and try new things.

“Building relationships with people is another reason I love the sport. You are able to make bonds with people that can last a lifetime.”

But it has not all been easy for the Flower Mound teen.

Becerra, 17, said throughout her playing career, she has had to overcome some serious hurdles.

“It’s never been an easy path,” Becerra said. “Injuries were something I had to deal with throughout my years of playing. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced any major setbacks, but they were still small issues nonetheless.

“There were also many instances where I wasn’t confident in how I was playing. However, overcoming the mental piece had a big impact in contributing to my improvement overall.”

Becerra helped the Lady Jags to a 23-1-2 overall record last season and 4-0 state championship victory over Austin Vandegrift, and while the accolades are great, it’s the friendships and memories that mean the most to her.

“Going through the struggle and growing with people you share a passion with is something special you always remember,” Becerra said. “Seeing your team’s collective hard work pay off in the state final is what I will remember most.

“It was truly a surreal moment. Knowing that the hard work you’ve put in for years has paid off is an indescribable feeling. Many people didn’t believe we could do it, so proving them wrong made it that much better.”

Becerra said she hopes that she made a good impression during her tenure at Flower Mound, and said she would like to be remembered in two ways.

“I’d like people to think of me as someone who helped the soccer program and tried to push my teammates to be better,” Becerra said.

For Tsapos, there is no question about that.

“Sydney is a very skillful player and sees the field very well,” Tsapos said. “She makes the right pass to the right runner most of the time. She can serve a great ball and most important can finish well. Her ability to create a scoring opportunity for herself and teammates is outstanding. She made everyone around her better.”

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