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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

From walk-on to the pros

Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tim Glass
Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Walk-ons always make for good story lines. Their heart, determination and never-say-die attitude have a way of inspiring.

But after college, walk-ons generally move on to the next chapter in their lives and the fairytale is over.

Rudy went on to become a motivational speaker and David Bagga wrote a book. After college, walk-ons usually drift off to the real world, where they are forced to get a “”real job.””

Then there’s the exception: Analisa Marquez.

The former Wildcat, who walked onto the Arizona soccer team in 2006, is extending her fairytale a little bit longer.

After trying out for the Women’s Professional Soccer League’s Boston Breakers in late February, the former walk-on is now a professional.

“”It was definitely a scary experience going to open tryouts,”” Marquez said. “”There were tons of coaches with clipboards that were watching games and evaluating players.””

As part of a 22-player roster released on March 25, Marquez was signed to a development contract and is eligible to play, but has a long road until she can compete for minutes.

Marquez has no problem having to prove that she’s worthy, having gone through the same process at the UA.

A Tucson native who attended Salpointe Catholic High School, Marquez was named team captain during her senior year.

When it was time to find a college, the forward decided to stay home and attend Arizona.

Marquez made the team as a walk-on, but struggled to find her way the first couple years.

“”It was a rollercoaster of a four years at Arizona, I struggled with getting playing time my first two years,”” she said. “”I finally earned a starting position my junior and senior year.

“”I definitely learned to fight for gaining a role on a team because I know I’m good enough,”” she added. “”I have to prove myself every day because coaches have their opinions, so I have to fight to prove to them that I can play.””

The former Wildcat is once again going through the challenge of earning playing time, but at the same time she has a new challenge to overcome.

She is away from home for the first time in her life and Boston is a lot different from Tucson.

“”I was a little homesick at first. It’s a different experience in Boston,”” Marquez said. “”It’s a lot more going on out here. They have public transportation so I’m getting used to that.””

Marquez admits that the pro game is different compared to the collegiate game, where everyone isn’t necessarily the best of the best.

“”The speed of the game is very different, the professional level is much faster and more sophisticated,”” Marquez said.

“”Every girl in the professional level is great, whereas in college, there were some weak links you could take advantage of on the field.””

The WPS season runs from April to September, and after the season Marquez hopes to play soccer overseas in the fall.

Though Marquez is now a professional athlete, she still has a lot work before she consistently sees the field, but she continue to do the same things that got her to this point.

“”Nobody ever got anywhere cruising,”” Marquez said.

“”You have to work hard, push yourself above your limit and have high expectations.””

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