FRISCO- Samantha Dominguez was born in Fort Worth, Texas where her passion for soccer sparked at the age of four. "Sam", as her teammates like to call her, has been playing soccer ever since.
“I remember the first goal that I scored was like the ball popped out and I ran. I took it and the goalkeeper was sitting on the floor picking flowers, in the goal. I hit the top of the net and I was so proud of myself. I ran to my coach, he gave me a high-five and a hug, that was the best feeling," said Dominguez as she smiled realizing that was 14 years ago.
Dominguez, who is a versatile player and can play both as a defender and midfielder, is getting ready to start the next chapter in her career this fall
, at Elon University. However, as she recalls the journey of signing, she realized it was a challenging experience but one that younger athletes should know about because at the end of the day it is all about "trusting the process."
“You wouldn’t really know that I was a big deal kind of thing because I don’t score. I don’t really get a lot of assists but I win balls in the middle and that’s really what I am good at," said Dominguez.
Sam, who was a part of the '00 group and joined the FC Dallas ECNL group in the 2014-2015 regular season, became a starter for the past three years, a vocal leader, and physical presence for the FC Dallas ECNL U19 group.
"At first she was quiet, soft spoken, a real cerebro player, very intelligent young lady that grew athletically," said ECNL Academy Coach Matt Grubb. "She has athletically, a really good frame, really strong who can distribute the ball well and read the play, but also because of her size and athleticism, she can destroy the other teams attack."
"I liked that there was girls that were better than me, that were more intense and more about practice. It made me want to work harder," said Dominguez.
Her day to day work was showcasing on the field but as she saw her peers constantly getting a call, she began to question if she had what it takes.
"I always saw my friends committing and going to college and stuff and I was just sitting here thinking, ok well this is not happening to me," said Dominguez but would continue her day to day consistency of hard work.
- don’t freak out because everyone around me had committed. I was like, is this not going to happen to me? You are going to go through a dry spell for some months and like the next month is going to be six colleges calling. It’s going to be kind of sudden and just be prepared for it. Don’t freak out, it’s ok if it happens late.”
Samantha, who committed until her junior year, encourages not to rush in picking a school if you are not ready. She adds on to say " Wait, you are going to know when the school is right.” For her, continuing her soccer career and setting her mind to become a biomedical engineer was something she knew since she was a kid. Her passion of building things with legos and her desire to help people is inculcated in her roots.
“I really had an obsession with legos when I was little. I like building things, I like just making things," said Dominguez. "My mom, I used to scare the living day time of her because I would leave things around the house. She was like, ‘What is this? Take that apart!’ I was like, ‘Sorry!’ But then I also wanted to be a doctor, so I watched tv shows with doctors in them and I thought I could not take the blood so you know why don’t I just mix the two and see what happens. I got really excited in the world of medicine with how these machines help with diseases and I told myself, ‘I have to do that.’ That's got to be my thing."
Now she looks forward to her new adventure as she prepares for her move to North Carolina.