Written by Danielle Gee
Math teacher Daisy Renazco, who was 5 when she started playing soccer, had a different start to her soccer career than most girls. “Back then, they didn’t have girls’ teams so I played with the boys and was the only girl on a boys’ team,” she said.
Renazco played on the boys’ team until she was 8-years-old, when a girls’ club team was created. Renazco had to overcome many difficulties as the only female teammate. “Boys won’t pass to you, and they will not think that you are good enough so you have to prove yourself, which is frustrating,” she said. “I think since I was a strong player, the boys realized pretty early on that I was one of them in terms of skill level.” Through her resilience, Renazco realized that she could overcome any obstacles thrown her way.
As Renazco continued playing soccer throughout high school, she started to love the camaraderie of the sport. “I enjoyed the team element that soccer creates and it gave me an outlet to go and focus on other than my education,” she said. “It gave me friends that were different from school.”
Although Renazco does not talk to her former teammates as often now, she refers to them as her “group of sisters.” Whenever she gets together with them, it is like nothing has changed and they pick up where they left off .
Renazco played all through high school and then Division I soccer at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California. During Renazco’s freshman year, Saint Mary’s made it to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. Her team beat its rival Santa Clara, which allowed them to proceed to the Sweet 16, but lost to the University of Portland. She still looks back on that experience as a memory she will never forget. Despite a busier schedule, today Renazco tries to make time to play in the alumni game at Saint Mary’s ever year. “Since having my daughter it has been hard to get out and play, but I go watch the Saint Mary’s versus Stanford game every year,” she said.