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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Devoted, come what may”

    One constant throughout the universe is the love and support of a parent.

    But in some cases, the support part is easier said than done, especially when supporting your child means spending vast sums of time and money traveling all around the country to see them compete on a sports team that has, quite frankly, made it fairly difficult to watch.

    The parents of the Arizona soccer team have been forced to make a grueling decision week in and week out this season: whether to bear the expenditure and make the trip to watch their daughter’s 6-8-1 soccer team struggle to take advantage of opportunities, meanwhile possibly enduring stress and heartbreak in turn.

    The response from these parents? You bet we’ll be there.

    “”We’re here to support the Wildcats through thick and thin,”” said Victor Caceres, father of defender Brianna Caceres. “”Our girls have hearts of champions. In the Pac(ific) 10 (Conference) you’re playing against the best, and we’re here to support them through it all.””

    How many folks are willing to make the drive out from, say, Canyon Country, Calif., every week when their kids’ team is riding a four-game losing streak, or being held scoreless for three straight games?

    The answer: nearly all of the UA parents. At least half of them are willing to take time out of their jobs and dig into their savings each week to make their way to wherever the Wildcats take on their next opponent.

    Even Virginia was not too far for Mike Huylebroeck. Living in Pinetop, he thought nothing of making the 2,000-mile trip to Charlottesville, Va., to see his daughter, forward Laura, and the Wildcats battle Virginia, then the No. 10 team in the country.

    Sure, the Wildcats got shut out, 4-0, in their worst loss of the season, but if you think that gave Mike buyer’s remorse, think again. Following Laura is just a way of life for Mike and his wife, Rosemary.

    “”We try to never miss a game,”” Rosemary Huylebroeck said. “”We’ve watched her since she was 5 years old and all through the club (soccer) years. It’s very fulfilling seeing her achieve her dream of playing Division-I soccer in college.””

    These views are common amongst the Arizona parents. They have simply seen too much, put in too many hours, given too much sweat and too many tears to simply quit now, at the pinnacle of their daughters’ careers.

    But what about the players? Do they appreciate all of the time, money and effort their parents have poured into them?

    Evidently, these girls have caught on.

    “”I think it’s awesome,”” Laura Huylebroeck said. “”My parents have always been there and they’re very supportive, and just knowing there’s someone in the stands for you is a really good feeling.””

    Even in the cases where parents do not have to travel quite so far, the devotion is still appreciated.

    Forward Analisa Marqeuz hails from Tucson, so her parents have to make all of a 15-minute drive to see her play at home. Because of the close proximity, Marquez also enjoys the support of her siblings and friends.

    “”It’s really good to have that kind of support from (my family and friends),”” Marquez said. “”That’s who I play for, so having them out there brings a lot of confidence and support for me.””

    While Arizona soccer continues on its grind of a season, the games are only getting more difficult. With the last road trip of the year coming up Nov. 2 ð- when the team takes on No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 USC – you can bet the parents will not miss it.

    “”Driving is sometimes really difficult, but when you support your kid’s university, wherever they are we’ll travel,”” Victor Caceres said. “”We’re here just to support (our kids) and give them strength.””

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