Izzy D’Aquila is ready to build on her historic freshman season
Back in 2019, Izzy D’Aquila had one of the best debut collegiate seasons that you could ask for. She broke the Santa Clara all-time record for goals in a season by a freshman (15), won WCC Freshman of the Year, and was second team All-West region. “I think that a large part of my success in my rookie year was the support that I was shown from my coaches and teammates,” D’Aquila told BGN. “The coaching staff pushed me as a player to improve and strive to be a better player.”
“My teammates were also a large part of my success. Without my teammates I would not have been able to score the number of goals I did. I honestly did not know what to expect coming into my rookie season. I always strive to be the best and work my hardest so that my team can be successful and win games.”
The 2019 season ended for Santa Clara in the third round of the NCAA Tournament against USC. Discussing the experience of making a tournament run, D’Aquila explained, “I think that having that experience only helps me and our team’s ability to perform in high pressure situations. A lot of the time tournament games are all about which team can handle the mental pressures that come with those high stakes games.”
“I feel that our team has always handled those situations well and if we can play as a unit like we did last year we have a great opportunity to win both the WCC conference and make a run for the national title.”
Since that loss to USC ended their season, D’Aquila and Santa Clara have been eagerly waiting to get back on the pitch to compete for those trophies. “I am extremely excited to be able to step back on the field with my teammates and represent Santa Clara women’s soccer,” she said. “I have missed soccer so much and I am grateful to be able to have this opportunity to play for both a conference and a national championship with my team.”
That lengthy time off also allowed for her to try and perfect her craft. Izzy said, “I have personally been continuing to improve my finishing and my ball distribution with pressure on my back. I always try and put a lot of emphasis on my physicality and fitness on the field so I can ensure that I am in game fitness shape.”
Izzy has also had a chance to represent multiple levels of the USYNT. “I loved my experiences with all levels of the USYNT,” she said. “I have gotten to travel the world, meet so many talented players, and overall play the sport I love while representing the United States. It is such an honor to put on that jersey and compete against other countries.”
“I aspire to play with the USWNT first team and it would be an even greater privilege to represent the United States on the largest stages, in World Cups and the Olympics.”
When it comes to a few favorites in the USWNT’s illustrious history, Izzy said, “Some of my favorite players who have played for the national team are Mia Hamm because she is one of the all-time greatest goal scorers in women’s soccer, Abby Wambach because of her goal scoring ability and her mentality on the field, and Brandi Chastain because of her drive and passion for the game. It has been a privilege to learn from Brandi (volunteer assistant coach at Santa Clara, her alma mater) and have her coach me and help me improve as a player.”
One of her listed favorite USWNT legends is actually someone that she shares some similarities to on the pitch. “It is hard to say who I would compare myself to as a player,’ she said. “I would say I am a very versatile goal scorer, and I am very dominant in the air and can finish all over the box, so I would say I have similar player qualities to Abby Wambach in her dominance in the air, versatility, and goal scoring ability.”
When she’s not representing the United States or Santa Clara on the pitch, you might find D’Aquila catching up on some Netflix, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I have watched a ton of different shows and movies on Netflix during the pandemic,” she said. What would be the top three Izzy D’Aquila Netflix recommendations? “I think if I only had to recommend 3 I would say, 1. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, 2.Sugar Rush (for my baking show fanatics, like me) and one that I am currently watching is 3. The 100,” she answered.
You’ll want to pause what you’re watching on Netflix tomorrow at noon to tune into an exciting show (click here to watch): D’Aquila & Santa Clara’s 2021 opener vs. Portland.