by Mateo Requejo-Tejada
Uki Fujiwara is a very decorated Soccer player as well as a senior here at Las Lomas. This year she has committed to San Francisco State University, whose women’s soccer team is a division 2 team. Fujiwara was first introduced to soccer during the fifth grade when she joined after becoming interested in the sport when all her friends were playing. Fujiwara added that about two years after she began playing soccer recreationally, she decided to play competitively. Fujiwara says that she continues to play soccer for multiple reasons. One reason is because she tried several other sports and they didn’t intrigue her as much as soccer did. Another reason that Fujiwara said she continues to play is because her coach played for the national brazilian team for the world cup in 1999 and she “was really inspired by her.” Fujiwara added, “I loved the competitiveness about [soccer] so it made want to get better,” giving her final reason for wanting to continue playing soccer for as long as she has. Fujiwara spoke about how her recruiting process started during Freshman year, and explained that according to NCAA standards coaches are not allowed to talk to recruits until Junior year.
During this period of two years, she was constantly emailing, making phone calls, and spending large amounts of money to go to tournaments in places like San Diego and Las Vegas. Fujiwara also did some development programs like an olympic development program and a player development program where she went to Arizona and Colorado so to get the experience of having college coaches. Finally, after all the time Fujiwara spent between freshman and sophomore year trying to make contact, she finally got a response back junior and senior year. When asked about how long she plans to continue playing soccer Fujiwara said that she “ would love to keep playing, but everyone has their limits.”
She added that she’ll probably be done playing soccer after SFSU, but she would love to coach. Fujiwara explained that she chose San Francisco State University because several Division 1 schools had already committed and she debated to continue searching for one. When she considered SFSU, Fujiwara said, “ I saw the Campus and I really enjoyed it and the coach is fantastic… the whole team was close and together, so I was like, I think this is the place for me.”