With notable dedication to the Lady Mustangs soccer program both on and off the field, goalkeeper Ilyssa Espiritu has been selected to receive The Master's College women’s soccer team’s "Athlete Spotlight." The following are a few questions answered by Ilyssa in a brief interview.
TMC: Why did you choose to attend The Master’s College?
IE: I love that Coach Lewis runs the soccer program like a ministry. After playing competitive club soccer for seven years and attending a secular high school, it's a blessing to be surrounded by those who are like-minded. My recruit visits at other colleges did not compare to my visit here. I felt welcomed by the girls and the staff is very encouraging. Coach Lewis genuinely cares about our lives on and off the field.
TMC: What has been your favorite experience while playing at The Master’s College?
IE: My favorite experience would have to be beating Biola in PK's my sophomore year. That win helped us advance in the GSAC conference tournament. For me, the two saves I made in the shoot out helped make the victory even sweeter.
TMC: What was your favorite memory while on the team’s mission trip to Haiti?
IE: It's funny because this one also has to do with PK's. It was our last game in Haiti and it had to be settled in a shoot out. I saved every shot that came to me except one because the shooter missed the goal. My favorite memory was after our last shooter scored, the whole team ran out to celebrate. There was one teammate in particular that ran straight to me. She had shot first in the shoot out but was blocked. When we embraced in a celebratory hug, she told me "Thanks for saving my butt," and I assured her "I got you." We didn't really get along in the past years, but at that moment we saw each other as not only teammates, but friends as well.
TMC: What do you want to be doing at this time next year?
IE: This time next year I hope to be working as an Aide at a Physical Therapy place back home in Bakersfield, CA. After I get my hours of experience, I would like to start applying for graduate schools to acquire my Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree.