Gainesville

Soccer has been a passion of Gainesville senior Alissa Galaviz’s for nearly her entire life. Since the age of three, Galaviz has had the soccer ball at her feet and goals on her mind.

Not just scoring goals, but securing a future playing the game she loves has always been a priority.

On Wednesday, April 21, Galaviz was emotional surrounded by her family, friends and teammates. She put pen to paper and signed her national letter of intent to play soccer at Southeastern Community College in Iowa.

Galaviz said she was happy to have such a good support system to help her achieve her goals and that she’s going to miss Gainesville.

“It’s my senior year and I’m leaving all my teammates,” Galaviz said. “I’ve been playing with them since elementary school. I’ve been playing soccer my whole life and my freshman year hit and my goal was go sign at a college.”

Galaviz jumped at the opportunity and her head coach Danny Franco encouraged her to not to hesitate if she got an offer.

“There was no doubt in their mind that they wanted her,” Franco said. “I told her not to worry about staying home. I think it’s a good opportunity for her and a good chance to live a little and do her own thing.”

She said she did have reservations about leaving Texas, but she got an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“I was planning on going to college in Texas, but their coach got in touch with me and told me all the good things about Iowa,” Galaviz said. “They offered me a really good scholarship and I would be stupid not to take it.”

Galaviz’s soccer career hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In her sophomore season, she tore her ACL in her right knee and was forced to miss the whole season. She said it was a tough road back to recovery.

“It was really hard at first,” Galaviz said. “The pain was so bad. The physical therapy was really bad and I got really sad. I didn’t think I would get back to where I was before, but I trained a lot and Franco helped me a lot. Now I’m here. It’s been great since. I was rusty at first, but I put in a bunch of practice.”

Franco said it’s been a long time coming for Galaviz.

“She started on varsity and then tore her ACL and had to sit out her whole sophomore year,” Franco said. “Last year, she came back and there was a little adjustment at first, but as the season went on, you could tell her confidence grew. She’s someone you can always rely on. She’s overall a great person with a great attitude. She’ll be missed for sure.”

Franco said Galaviz’s versatility will help her transition to the college level.

“We played her at a bunch of spots and we didn’t lose a beat with her,” Franco said. “Her experience playing multiple positions will definitely help her.

The physicality of college soccer will be an adjustment for her, according to Franco, and Galaviz knows there are facets of her game she needs to improve in. She said she needs to start with increasing her speed to match the pace that college soccer offers, but that didn’t stop her from soaking in the moment.

“The speed is very different from high school,” Galaviz said. “I’ve got to work on my speed and my touches and all the basic things. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m actually scared a lot. I know it will be worth it. I’m happy with myself and I’m very proud. I didn’t think I’d be able to sign with a college, so I’m extremely proud of myself.”

Reach Patrick Hayslip at sports@gainesvilleregister.com

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