By: JOHN CANNON
(DONNA) – Donna goalie Maria Reza has been selected the RedskinSports.us Player of the Week for the week of January 23rd through January 28th.
Reza had an outstanding game on Friday night against the Edcouch-Elsa Yellowjackets as she made some amazing saves throughout the contest.
But her biggest moment was in penalty kicks when Reza made a huge stop in the final one to preserve the win for her team.
Reza sat down with RedskinSports.us Sports Editor John Cannon for a question and answer session.
JC: Maria. Congratulations on being named the RedskinSports.us Player of the Week. In Friday night’s game, you made some big saves throughout the night and even forced the game to go into penalty kicks. What were you feeling throughout the night and going into that last kick?
MR: Nervous. Throughout the entire penalty kick phase I was very nervous. But I tried not to show it and worked on getting into the opposing player’s heads and get them more nervous than I was.
JC: How did you try to block out the nerves?
MR: I just stayed focused on my job.
JC: When you made that winning save, what was your reaction?
MR: I jumped because I was super happy. That save helped us win our second district game and it was a great feeling.
JC: Your team is currently 2-0 in district play. What does this say about your team?
MR: We have improved and worked hard over the summer. We competed in league play over the summer and then came back to get to work. Right now in practices, we focus on a lot of different things which will make us a better team and it’s showing on the field. We have been playing our hearts out on that field.
JC: Being a goalie, it seems like you are always forgotten. The scorers and defenders seem to always get the recognition. But for you to get some recognition, how does it feel?
MR: I feel proud because not every goalie gets recognition. When you make a save, it feels like you helped win the game. And if the opposing team shoots and you make the save, they have a less chance to score.
JC: How long have you been playing soccer?
MR: I started playing in the eighth grade.
JC: Have you always been a goalie?
MR: No. I used to be a forward.
JC: When did the transition come for you to be a goalie?
MR: At the end of the soccer season during my freshman year. I normally played defense. But I hurt my ankle playing volleyball and my coach told me to play goalie so I could continue to practice. From there, I just kept playing goalie and have stayed there ever since.
JC: Who is your favorite goalie?
MR: Hope Solo from Team USA.
JC: Who is your favorite team?
MR: Team USA.
JC: Who is your inspiration on the team?
MR: Coach Fatacati. He is a goalie coach and really worked a lot with me on improving my skills. Also he gave me the courage to go out there and just to play hard.
JC: What would be your ultimate dream if it came to playing professional soccer?
MR: I would love to play for Team USA and be the next Hope Solo.
JC: Who’s the one person you dedicate all of this to?
MR: My dad. Because he passed away on January 29th of last year and it was really hard. I promised him before he died that I was going to try my very best and in each and every game, I go out there and play my heart out for him.