Yuma, Ariz. - Yuma native, Yazmin Gonzalez, lives by the motto “get the worst part out of your day first.”
Fast, witty and electric, Gonzalez has been playing competitive soccer since she was 11-years-old, but she always felt that she was playing for more.
She realized that her junior year of high school at Gila Ridge when she suffered a career-threatening injury.
"I was doing bleachers and my legs just felt so heavy, and then I slipped and I hit my shin on the bleachers and it split open," shared Gonzalez.
The injury made such an impact in Gonzalez's life, she almost hung up her cleats.
"I was just so frustrated with myself because when I played I was playing scared to get hurt...a part of me almost wanted to quit soccer," said Gonzalez.
But, she did not give up.
Despite the emotional turmoil, Gonzalez played her senior year of high school and continued to play travel ball after the regular season.
"After the season, I ended up going to my travel team because I found out my coach had cancer and I wanted to finish the season for her," expressed Gonzalez.
After her season with the local travel team, Yuma Legends FC, Gonzalez said Arizona Western College (AWC) soccer was something she never expected, but nonetheless, she took the opportunity.
During her sophomore year at AWC, the team made history and went undefeated in the regular season. The Matadors ended their career at the NJCAA tournament, something AWC women's soccer had never done.
After her two years at Arizona Western as a key defender on the soccer team, Gonzalez understood her purpose for staying in the sport. She expressed that soccer has been the gateway to other opportunities.
Now at Northwest Christian University, she plans to major in international sustainability. Gonzalez also understood soccer led her to her newfound passion.