Adam Sillow, junior
On a scorching hot Friday afternoon, when most Maria Carrillo High School students are on their way home to enjoy the weekend, the MCHS women’s soccer team is battling it out against the Piner High School Prospectors in the intense heat. Left forward and MCHS sophomore Katie Mohr scores two goals within the first 15 minutes, which contributes to the Piner High School team eventually forfeiting at half time. Besides scoring goals herself, Mohr is constantly communicating with her teammates. As she closes in on the goal she takes a split second to decide whether to pass or take the shot. Before a defender reaches her, Mohr has made her decision. “As a striker her objective is to score. She communicates well, is selfless, and wants to be able to score for her team,” said Debra LaPrath, the coach of the MCHS women’s varsity soccer team.
Mohr loves winning but more importantly, she loves the game of soccer itself. Since the age of four, Mohr has constantly had a ball at her feet and determination on her mind. As Mohr recently commented, “If I don’t have soccer, I don’t know what to do with my life.” With at least fourteen hours of practice each week, she is fully engrossed in the game. Mohr currently plays for three different teams: the MCHS women’s soccer team, Santa Rosa United -a premiere club in California- and most recently, the U.S. Under-15 (U15) National team.
How do you get to the prestigious U.S. U15 national soccer team? The answer is practice, practice, practice. Mohr’s years of hard work paid off last spring at a Santa Rosa United practice. Unbeknownst to Katie, a coach from the U.S. U15 National team observed her athletic ability. Two weeks later Katie received a call from the head coach, Mike Dickey, asking if she would join the U.S. U15 National team. Katie stood with the phone to her ear, speechless, as tears of joy rolled down her cheeks.
Two months ago, Katie flew to Florida with the U.S. U15 National team for a training camp. She competed against many teams, including some from South Korea and Nigeria, as well as a few high level boys’ teams. Her ability to play at this level came as no surprise to her Santa Rosa United coach, Paul Dixon, who commented on her skill on the field, “She’s always in the right place at the right time. She’s good with both feet and is a very physical player.” Mohr’s talent on the field is balanced by her modesty off the field. Senior, Emily Sellner, a fellow MCHS teammate, said, “We didn’t even know she was on the U.S. National team till our coach told us.” Clearly Mohr does not feel the need to boast. Instead she lets her play do the talking.
Dixon added that her future is extremely bright and that, “compared to others, she has a lot of potential to play at a Division one college level. She is very goal orientated and loves the game. She wants to play at the highest level. And she has the potential to go on to bigger and better things.”
He also believes that she is among the top 24 youth women soccer players in the country. After coaching Mohr for three years on the Santa Rosa United team, Dixon explains that, “Katie is one of those forwards who is something special regarding putting the ball away. She scores a lot of goals for us. She’s a quality player and a quality kid.”
Mohr advises young and aspiring soccer players to, “Play what you play, don’t play as someone else. Play your position and do what you do best.” When asked why soccer is such a beautiful game, Mohr pondered the question for a moment and then confidently replied, “Soccer is the hardest working sport you will ever play. It inspires a passion to win that is surreal, more than in any other sport”.