Crystal Cordova: NC Return From San Diego Athlete

  • Name: Crystal Cordova
  • Age: 19
  • Organization: NC State, Serra High School

By Patrick Kinas, creator.

As a self-described military brat, Crystal Cordova has spent a lifetime acclimating to new regions and lifestyles. With NC State, not only is she adapting to a new environment, but also to a college soccer career on the other side of the country that she wasn’t sure was in the cards.

“At first, didn’t think was going to play soccer in college,” Cordova said. “I didn’t think I was good enough.”

Early in Cordova’s life, soccer was her life purely for the unbridled enjoyment.

“I played for fun, but then I started looking into colleges to play.”

Cordova’s eyes opened to soccer with her club play in southern California with Del Mar Carmel Valley.

“Our coach’s goal was to have all players go to college.”

Only her college of choice initially wasn’t necessarily NC State, but the University of San Diego.

“I was so set on the west coast,” Cordova said.

However, that began to change when her club teammate Hannah Keogh committed to the Wolfpack.

“She committed first, and that caught my attention to lean toward NC State,” Cordova said. “I thought if she likes it, I might like it. So we contacted (Head Coach) Tim (Santoro) for a visit and I really liked it.”

Coming back to the east coast wasn’t necessarily on the forefront of her mind, but it did represent somewhat of a homecoming for Cordova.

Her father is a proud Marine, which led the Cordova family from Japan to Connecticut to North Carolina and then to California.

“My dad was stationed in Jacksonville (NC) when I was going into 5th grade, then we moved out west when I got into 8th.”

As the oldest of three Cordova kids, Crystal has seen plenty of adversity and shouldered increased responsibility with her dad’s deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and other locales.

“Transitioning across the country, being in new culture with different people, sometimes it’s culture shock,” Cordova said. “And the weather, it’s very humid here.”

With her first season with NC State now in the past, Cordova finally has the chance to enjoy all of the flair and gameday excitement that soccer practices, travel and games have prevented her from experiencing.

“I haven’t been able to do much because of practice and games, but I really like the pride and experience that everyone has. Everyone is so dedicated to NC State, they know the fight songs, flash the colors and give a true family feel while I’m away from home.”

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