Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Kaufman gets her ‘Kicks’ on the field

Rio Hondo women’s soccer striker, Sierra Kaufman never allowed her three strikes at soccer to keep her away from doing what she does best…kick. The Filipino Mexican American is an enthusiastic 18-year-old whose talent not only lies within her but amongst her two feet as well. An athlete who plays with poise and precise when the ball in under her feet.

Kaufman has been playing soccer since the age of six and was part of the South Bay Force Club. However, her journey wasn’t easy.  At age-10 Kaufman put her soccer aspirations on hold because she felt more confident on the baseball field.

During her freshman year, Kaufman tried out for the soccer team at Redondo Union High School and did not make the team.

She went on to strike out her sophomore and junior year as well. But this athlete never allowed her three strikes to make an out, instead she tried out again her senior year and voila she made the varsity team. Joe Cantu, one of the south bay force coaches discovered her talents and began practicing one on one to polish her abilities.

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This would change her soccer career for the better.

“I didn’t apply to any UC’s, I didn’t feel I was good enough for any of the UC’s I didn’t think anyone [would] take me. I only applied for CAL States and out of state colleges I even tried out for San Francisco State, I had a spot there but Joe convinced me to come here,” Kaufman said with a bright smile.

Kaufmann mused of her summer try outs and recalls being unprepared.

“I was coming here to play goal keeper, the first day I didn’t bring gloves I thought it was only going to be conditioning when they called over the goal keepers I stayed with the other group,” said Kaufmann laughing.

Kaufman is a versatile player, which is fundamental for any competitive sport. Kaufman is grateful for all the support she has received from head coach Jennifer Tanaka-Hoshijo and assistant coaches Amanda Krukow, Will Lopez, Gil Sandoval, Marcos Gaspar and Joe Cantu.  Head coach Tanaka-Hoshijo is an inspiration for Kaufman.

“Coach Jennie inspires me to become a better player,” Kaufman said.

Head coach Tanaka-Hoshijo spoke proudly of all her players reaffirming, “Sierra is an athletic and talented student-athlete. She has the ability to play with both feet and is able to use her technical abilities to create scoring opportunities for the team.  Sierra is an energetic player that has proven to be a handful for many of the teams we have played by working hard on/off the ball.  We are looking forward to seeing her continue to refine her game and continue to be an attacking threat for our team.”

Kaufman is excited for what RHC has to offer and the foundation it serves for her. This is a decision she does not regret. Even though she is still unaware of a major, she appreciates what RHC is providing her with now.

The program transfers over 85 percent of their sophomores to four-year universities. Coach Tanaka works hard in finding universities that not only offer great soccer programs, but that also have high academic standards.

With a smiling future ahead Kaufman is as hopeful and willing to give it her all, as she does every time she steps on a field.

She is proof that three strikes does not always mean you’re out.

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