Estancia High junior girls' soccer player Alba Barrios is a success story.
Barrios' parents, Carlos and Evelyn, immigrated from Guatemala about 20 years ago. They were in Guatemala last weekend, too, and Alba hit them with some great news when they arrived back to California.
Alba Barrios has verbally committed to play for Cal State Fullerton, a Division 1 program, she said Wednesday night.
"They really got emotional," said Alba Barrios in a phone interview from Northern California, where she is attending a leadership conference through Girls Inc. "They were so proud. They worked so hard for me. This has been their dream, for me to go to a four-year college … They just want their kids to have what they never had."
Alba said one of her biggest aspirations was to play Division 1 soccer, and she also wanted to stay local so her family could see her games.
Barrios, a center midfielder, is a two-time Newport-Mesa Dream Team selection. This past winter, she had close to 10 assists, helping the Eagles (10-6-5) finish second in the Orange Coast League and return to the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs, where they lost in the first round to Riverside Poly in penalty kicks.
Known for her passion on the pitch, the versatile Barrios, a team captain, is a two-time first-team All-Orange Coast League selection.
Barrios, who plays club soccer for Exiles Soccer Club, said she wants to major in business marketing at Cal State Fullerton.
"I always wanted to play college soccer," she said. "I don't even think it's hit me yet … it's such a huge payoff. I'm so glad I stuck with it."
Cal State Fullerton won the program's fourth Big West Conference Tournament championship in 2013, advancing to the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Stanford.
— Matt Szabo