Ferreira, a 15-year-old La Jolla resident, will be a junior at La Jolla Country Day this year. She has spent most of her summer days playing with the San Diego Surf under-16 club team, an elite squad that has brought her to all ends of the country competing against some of the nation’s best soccer players.
“We’re definitely one of the elite soccer clubs in Southern California, and I’m really proud to be a part of that,” Ferreira said.
A utility player who splits her time between midfield and defense, Ferreira practices an average of three times a week with the Surf, and the team plays in tournaments all over Southern California and cross the country on weekends.
The Surf won the prestigious Surf Cup tournament earlier this summer and has played in the State Cup, the Houston college showcase and a big tournament in Pleasanton. Last weekend, they played in a Red Bull National League tournament in Northern California, winning all three of their games in the elite competition. The event featured the top 18 teams in the country - nine from the east and nine from the west - with the winner of the league, which features multiple events throughout the year, being considered the national champion.
Ferreira’s Surf team went 3-0 last weekend at the Red Bull National tournament, outscoring its opponents, 8-2. The Surf beat Atlanta Fire United Elite, 5-1, on Friday, then edged Solar 92 of Texas, 1-0, on Saturday and toppled Eclipse Select of Illinois, 2-1, on Sunday.
“It’s really great because you meet a lot of different kids,” Ferreira said. “You learn how important sportsmanship is, because you can be as tough as you want to be on the field, but once you step off the field, everyone pretty much is friends.”
The San Diego Surf takes players from all over San Diego County, so Ferreira plays on a team with members from public and private high schools from as far south as Chula Vista and as far north as Carlsbad. She has been playing for Surf for six years, and previously was a member of the Albion Soccer Club - she has been playing soccer since she was 5 years old, she said.
Her Surf team will continue to compete at a high level throughout the summer, as they will play in the Far West regional league this week in Camarillo, northwest of Los Angeles.
“We spend a lot of time together, so our team is really close,” Ferreira said. “We definitely all share the same goals, and those are to be the best we can be, grow and learn from each other. Our big goal this year is to win the national championship.”
Ferreira’s soccer career has brought with it many awards. She has been the captain of her Surf team for two years, and was the Most Valuable Player of the Las Vegas Showcase earlier this year. She was also honored with a varsity coaches’ award at La Jolla Country Day, where she has also been consistently honored as a high honor roll student and a member of the National Society of High School Scholars.
Ferreira has played varsity soccer since her freshman year at Country Day, having beaten long odds in edging 20-30 other players for the final varsity position in her first high school season.
“There were some great older players on that team, like Ali Hawkins, who’s now at North Carolina, and Hallie Huston, who plays at USD now,” Ferreira said. “They were really great role models for me, and I was really excited when I made the varsity team. “It’s been great so far, and I’m really looking forward to playing all four years on the varsity.”
Ferreira said she enjoys both the high school and the club soccer seasons, though there are some drastic differences. “Both high school soccer and club soccer are very hard,” Ferreira said. “High school soccer is more rag-tag and physical, and you have to be scrappier. In club soccer, everyone is very talented - it’s much more skillful and tactical, with precision passing, than it is in high school.
“I definitely use what I learn with the club team out on the high school soccer field. I learn a lot of leadership with the club team, and I try to carry that over to the high school field.”