As if scoring 78 goals for the Gators over a four year high school career wasn't enough, Stone Ridge Athletics was able to catch up with Tati Ortega '18, one of the best soccer players in School history before she heads off to her extremely bright future. Thankfully the future Northeastern Husky made time to answer a few questions.
Q) Now that you've had time to reflect on your historic SR soccer season, making a great run and playing on Gator Field during your senior season, but also being in the lower division earlier in your career, what are your thoughts as you look back?
A) Reflecting on my years of SR soccer it is crazy to think about how far we've come. Gator Field has helped out the program so much. I began in the lower division my freshman year and we worked so incredibly hard to strive to get moved up to the upper division. It was more than just hard work but it was also just believing in one another and supporting each other along the way which is something so special here at Stone Ridge. It is amazing to think about how I began in the lower division as a freshman and finished in the AA upper division championship game of the ISL tournament my senior year.
Q) What are you most looking forward to with playing D1 soccer?
A) I am very excited to play D1 soccer! It has been a goal of mine ever since I was very little. I am excited to take my love for soccer to a new level. I am looking forward to continuing to grow as a student athlete. I am excited to learn new things and to be pushed to new levels. I am excited for new competitive competition.
Q) What are you doing this summer to prepare soccer wise?
A) I am currently training with the Washington Spirit Reserve team. It has been a great experience so far as I have been introduced to new competition and a new speed of play. I am also training in the gym as I have a summer workout packet I was sent that i have to follow.
Q) How did you learn about the Spirit Reserve team, what role do you have, what benefits do you hope it will provide you?
A) I learned about the Washington Spirit Reserve team through Coach KJ Spisak and also some players who have participated in the past. I am one of the youngest players on the team but everyone has been so welcoming to me. I hope to become a better player as KJ is someone who knows how to push me and always teaches me new things. It is a really competitive and fun environment that I hope prepares me for the realities of D1 soccer.
Q) As an alum now, what is your hope for SR soccer, SR athletics?
A) It's crazy to think that I am an alum now! Stone Ridge athletics has been absolutely amazing over my 13 years here. I have seen the Athletics program grow so much as a whole and Mr. McGhee has truly had a huge impact on the program. I really hope that the soccer program keeps growing from the littlest participants all the way to seniors. I hope that someday soon SR soccer can win the upper division or the upper division tournament. That would be awesome! I also hope that SR athletics continues to win the Lewis Cup as we did my senior year!
Q) What else would you like to share?
A) I just want to thank the whole athletics department for everything that they've done. They have been so supportive in everything that I do. I want to give a huge thank you to Coach KJ who has made such an impact as to who I am as a soccer player and person. She has always believed in me and always knows how to push me to new levels and is always willing to teach me new things. I am so thankful for Stone Ridge athletics and I will surely come back to watch games and I know the program will continue to strive forward.