Nov. 5, 2012, 12:55 p.m.

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Francesca Mardones shoots for gold

Using her national-level experience, one women’s soccer player shoots for gold again.

Playing for Laramie County Community College’s women’s soccer team, Francesca Mardones dominates the midfield position. Wearing No. 16, Mardones came from Santiago, Chile, where she played for the “selection team.” Her Chilean national team’s name was “Calo Calo.”

Going from World Cups to college sports

During an eight-year span, Mardones played in numerous World Cups. In 2008, she competed in the World Cup in Pan America. In 2009, she competed in Mexico, and in 2010 she played in Guadalajara.

Now on the LCCC field, Mardones continues to work hard and compete at a golden level. Excited for the upcoming games this season, Mardones said she wanted the team to go to Florida in November to win the National Junior College Athletic Association championship.

Talking about why she came to LCCC in the first place, Mardones said, “I think here there are more opportunities to study and play soccer.”

Currently taking English Second Language (ESL) classes, Mardones said she wanted to know English and Spanish proficiently because it will provide better opportunities for her in the future. She plans to study physical education starting next semester when she can take “normal classes” rather than the ESL classes, she said.

Next stop: university sports

Another goal she said she has for the future is to transfer to a university to further her education while continuing to play soccer. After the LCCC team’s season ends in November, Mardones said she hoped to travel to Brazil to play with the Chile national team as it competes in the Copa Libertadores de America.

When describing life at home compared to Cheyenne, Mardones said it is pretty different, too. Cheyenne is very boring in comparison to the busy city life of Santiago, she said. “I live in the capital. I always see people. Now I see maybe a cow,” she said with a laugh. Food is another very different aspect of living in the United States, which is why she said the two things she misses most from home are family and food.

“The soccer here is very different,” Mardones said. It is more physical with running, rather than focused on ball touches, she explained. Even with the many differences, she said she was still very happy to be here now. She liked her team, the coach and the opportunity she has here, she added.


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