For many high-performing athletes – those who push the limits every day and strive to be better than their peers – it takes some time to figure out which sport is truly their “thing.” The exact opposite is true for Meghan Scudero ‘16. It was soccer all the way for her, and it clearly shows. Since the age of four, she has played soccer more passionately than anything else.
“Although I did like swimming more as I got better, I knew that soccer was my sport,” Scudero said.
And with a mom, dad, brother and sister who have all played soccer competitively, she didn’t really have to make a decision between sports. Besides, she was a natural with the soccer ball at her feet. In her very first game, she got the ball, scored a goal, and realized that the game she would end up loving was actually pretty easy.
Her mom and dad have had the biggest influence on her in that time. If she ever wanted to go out and practice, or work on her shot, her parents were there. After every game, she got a constant stream of help and advice from her mom who always wanted Scudero to improve.
Scudero has always been her own harshest critic. However, she gained an unlikely ally when she would get down on herself: her sister.
“She’s always the one telling me, ‘You shouldn’t be as hard on yourself’ after I had bad games or practices,” Scudero explained.
Her brother was the one who, although younger than her, pushed her to be better. He would constantly ask her to go outside with him and practice, invariably improving both of their skills, while having fun.
Soccer has not always come easy to her, however. There have been times where she lost the motivation to play, where she wondered whether quitting soccer would give her more time to enjoy her life.
“There were a lot of times where I questioned if [soccer] was what I wanted to do,” Scudero said, “It was a kind of back-and-forth battle in myself.”
This is long past her, considering her national status. Yes, national status. Scudero plays for the Western Regional soccer team, and travels all over the nation (Florida, Texas, Arizona, Oregon, to name a few) to compete. Although she admits her social life has taken a hit (not unlike many other athletes), the experience has taught her some valuable lessons. She has had to manage her time, since many tournaments take up her entire weekend. She has had to travel alone, which forced her to take more responsibility for her actions and be more independent. Many teenagers do not learn these skills until college.
Unfortunately, in a recent game aginst Santa Teresa, she went in for a tackle and dislocated her shoulder, sidelining her for the rest of the Chargers’ season. However, her team has been behind her the entire time.
“In high school soccer, there is a lot of support you have from your teammates. These are people you see everyday in your classes, you pass by them in a hallway. Having those people around you on a team and on the field, everyone is just super supportive,” Scudero said.
Last November she verbally committed to San Diego State University, a school where she will be playing the sport she enjoys with a coach she likes on the coast she loves. Now she’s glad she kept playing.