Getting to know the newcomers: Gabby Zarnegar
Aug. 12, 2010
Despite being halfway across the country from her home in California, freshman Gabby Zarnegar is already comfortable on the Forty Acres in her first season with the Texas Soccer team.
The 5-2 forward out of Mission Viejo, Calif., who has been playing soccer since she was five, comes to the Longhorns with a wealth of experience on the national youth soccer scene and with a upbeat attitude and hard work ethic that has made the transition from high school to the collegiate scene a little smoother.
Zarnegar picked up most her soccer knowledge in her 10 years with the So Cal Blues club squad. During that time, she won the adidas Golden Boot award in 2007 and was the leading scorer at the U.S. Youth Soccer (USYS) National Championships en route to helping her team win the U-15 title.
The Tesoro High School graduate and the So Cal Blues also claimed the 2008 California Youth Soccer Association (CSYA) South U-16 State Championship and the USYS U-16 Far West Regional Championship.
Now that she's finally arrived on campus, the freshman forward sat down with TexasSports.com to talk about her transition to UT, why she chose Austin and how it feels to be a Longhorn.
On why she chose Texas: I'm a huge sports fanatic, and sports are really important here. I knew the second I got here that Texas is where I wanted to spend the next four years. The atmosphere is perfect for a student athlete and it has everything I'd want in a school.
On what in particular drew her to Texas: I thought the coaching staff was really passionate and expect a lot from you and that's something that's really important to me. The other athletes were also really welcoming and the atmosphere within the team was just a perfect fit. Overall, it just seemed like such a great environment to be a part of.
On the transition from California to Texas: It was hard only because I knew that I would get homesick. I love and miss my family and friends. But as much as I love California, I knew that I needed to experience something new and the team is so welcoming that I knew I wouldn't be too homesick.
On the advantage to knowing girls already at Texas: Well Lexi [Harris] and I have played at camps together and I've played with and against some of hte other girls before ocming here so that really helps. I feel much more comfortable than I think I would have felt otherwise. The transition has been so much easier already knowing my teammates.
On the opportunity to play at the University of Texas: It's a great honor to play and practice with the team at Texas. Honestly, I'm not even thinking about games yet, I'm simply taking it one practice at a time. It's so awesome. I'm happy to be here.
On the transition from club to college: The transition is huge. They are two different worlds and you have to improve yourself every time you step on the field. But I think that having that national club experience really helped make the transition smoother.
On how she got into soccer: I've been playing for about as long as I can remember. I was put into the sport when I was give and have been playing ever since.
On what she likes most about soccer: I'm really competitive. Soccer is a great sport for me to be able to play and get out my frustrations, forget everything and when it gets down to it, I just really enjoy what I'm doing.
On preparations for LSU: I feel like we've had some great practices in the past week or so. I think we feel pretty confident overall. We are ready to start the season strong.