Santa Clara Magazine

Here’s a First

Here’s a First

By Monique Beeler

Julie Johnston Ertz ’14 , Brandi Chastain ’91 , and Sofia Huerta’15 chat at a U.S. Women’s National Team event in July 2017. Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos
For Sofia Huerta ’15, dreams come true with the U.S. Women’s National Team. 

Early in her soccer career, Sofia Huerta ’15 took a sporting risk. After playing for Mexico’s Under-20 women’s national team and briefly with the senior squad (Mexico is her father’s homeland)—and battling opponents from Brazil to the United States—in 2014 she stepped away.

The Idaho native wanted to play for the U.S. team.

There were no guarantees she would achieve her goal. But on Sept. 14, 2017, soccer’s governing body approved her national affiliation switch. The next day, Huerta donned the red, white, and blue jersey.

She subbed in just after halftime for a match against New Zealand, played in Cincinnati. Within 27 minutes, she launched a precise cross-field pass to the feet of a teammate who scored—Huerta’s first assist for her country.

The appearance also represented another first: She is the only woman to play for, and against, the U.S. national team. She’s also the first player from Idaho to don an international cap.

But that assist was not the first goal of the night; the first pair were scored by teammate Julie Johnston Ertz ’14 who also plays alongside Huerta on the Chicago Red Stars.

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