June 18, 2024

Senior soccer star Alberto Zaragoza is the latest Wittenberg athlete to be named NCAC athlete of the week. Zaragoza has scored at least once in each of the first six games of the season.

Alberto learned the game of soccer from his two older brothers, he especially is thankful for his big brother, José; they bonded over the sport. Soccer was the only sport that sparked an interest in his young mind. In the Hispanic culture, soccer is the sport that everyone plays. It was not until high school he got interested in other sports like football and baseball, but it was already too late; he had already dedicated his time to soccer.

His most embarrassing soccer moment was coming to Wittenberg for a soccer camp and one of the coaches asked him to kick the ball from 18-yard line, he completely missed the ball and fell on his behind. This experience humbled him because he learned that he was not the top dog anymore and collegiate soccer is highly competitive.

His favorite professional soccer player is Wayne Rooney because they both play the same position, striker and because he is an excellent scorer. Also, Rooney excelled at every level in Europe and is now playing for D.C. United in the MLS.

Zaragoza decided to attend Wittenberg because it is so close to home. He is from New Carlisle, Ohio and attended Tecumseh high school.

“It’s nice to have freedom away from home, but it also nice to have my family watch me play and there is no better feeling,” he said.

His original academic plan was to double major in psychology and sociology with a focus in criminology but he changed his mind after persuasion by teammate and close friend Austin Lewis, ’19, to become a sport management major.

After graduating from Wittenberg, he would like to move to Columbus or Cincinnati and work with their professional soccer team. If that does not work, he wants to become a coach or find a job that still involves sports. His dream job is to become an athletic director for a college or a high school.

Outside of athletics, Alberto is a part of group called Minority Men Striving to Succeed, or M2S2, and a brother of Phi Kappa Psi. Within his fraternity he was philanthropy chair and brotherhood chairman. By having these positions, he has grown as a leader and learned how to act in an executive role.

One thing Zaragoza will miss upon graduation will be the Wittenberg Community. “The people here are the friendliest genuine people you will ever meet. You can sit down with anybody and have a nice conservation with them.” Is his answer about what is he going to miss the most about Wittenberg.

Yes, Alberto thinks it ironic that he has the most goals and the most yellow cards on team. He is continually working on keeping his cool because once you obtain a certain amount of yellows you must sit out a game. He does not want to many miss any games this season.

His goals for the soccer team this year is to change the minds of other school when they think of Wittenberg soccer, score more goals and receive less yellow cards. He wants this years team to continue to play well and make it to the NCAC post season like the 2008 team which earned a spot in the NCAA tournament.

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