By Sophia Mora
SAN ANTONIO – The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) women’s soccer goalkeeper, Savannah Hernandez, actually began her athletic career as a wrestler.
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Hernandez is a senior bachelor of Science in Biology major with a minor in English.
She began her wrestling career in her sophomore year at Franklin High School.
“Wrestling gave me the confidence I needed in order to mature as an individual,” said Hernandez. “It helped me mentally and physically.”
She maintained her wrestling career until she graduated from high school. In her time as a wrestler, Hernandez was a Three-time First Team All-City Wrestler, a regional champion Wrestler and an All-American wrestler.
Hernandez was offered an academic scholarship at OLLU, however the university did not have a wrestling team that she could pursue.
“My dad thought it would be a good idea to email the soccer coach to see if he needed a goalkeeper,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said that she was hesitant at first, but she knew she wanted to keep being an athlete.
After given the opportunity to try out, Hernandez secured herself a position on the OLLU women’s soccer team as a goalkeeper.
“The biggest difference from going from an individual sport to a team sport has to be allowing myself to trust my teammates,” Hernandez said. “Winning as a team is much more fun than winning as an individual.”
Outside of athletics, Hernandez likes to draw, paint, and write fictional stories.
Hernandez said that her favorite hobby is writing a story that she has been working on since her junior year of high school that she hopes to publish one day.
“Off the field Savannah is a very compassionate person who puts the needs of other in front of her own,” said Brendan Johnson, OLLU goalkeeper coach. “She is a very caring individuals who works tirelessly on things she sets her mind to.”
Johnson also said that one of her biggest strengths on the field is her fearlessness to claim the ball and her explosiveness to cover lots of space.
In her time at OLLU Hernandez has received various awards. Her awards include theOLLU Honors Program, three-time RRAC Scholar-Athlete, United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award, and the NAIA Scholar Team.
Hernandez said her advice to incoming freshman is to go beyond their comfort zones and ask professors and peers for help. She also said that the environment at OLLU is really friendly.
After graduation, Savannah will be pursuing a master’s in environmental and occupational health.