By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ
Sophomore Shannon Shields, a starting forward for the Pima Community College women’s soccer team, says soccer became a main focus during her teenage years.
“I played softball and soccer competitively until I was 13,” she said. “I chose soccer because at the time I had more interest in it, and personally thought I was better at soccer.”
After graduating from Sabino High School in 2013, she attended a Division 1 university in Texas for one year.
“Things there didn’t work out due to injuries and other things,” Shields said. “I’m so glad I chose Pima for my sophomore year. I love the team and I love playing in town so my parents can see me play.”
Shields gives all the credit to her parents for helping her be the soccer player she is today. She said her parents are her biggest fans and that she is forever grateful.
“When I started playing, they drove me around to practices and games and have always supported me,” she said. “When it came time to narrow down a school, they gave me great input but left the choices up to me.”
Her philosophy is to make school her top priority.
“Eventually soccer is going to come to an end and what I’m doing first and foremost is going to school,” she said. “School is No. 1 and soccer is a privilege for having good grades.”
Shields chose a different route than her older sister, who was a gymnast and a cheerleader.
Her father was athletic growing up, and coached her a lot when she was younger. She has also always looked up to her grandfather.
“He’s such a strong man and has always supported all of his kids and grandkids,” she said. “He’s an amazing man.”
Shields has scored in almost every game in which she’s played this season, and even scored a three-goal ‘hat trick” on Sept. 20. She was named the ACCAC Player of the Week for Aug. 25-31.
She thinks her teammates have high expectations for her, and places equally high demands on herself.
Sophomore teammate Alexis Veney said Shields shows an eagerness to win.
“She’s very persistent and she always follows through,” she said.
Veney also said Shields is a very positive person who helps everyone look on the bright side when they are down.
Shields injured her dominant left foot during a game against Glendale Community College on Oct. 7, but is taking precautions.
“I have to be a lot more careful when I shoot so I don’t hurt it more,” she said.
Shields enjoys her success playing forward but jokes that she want to be a goalkeeper because she likes to goof off in the net and make crazy saves.
She admits to being pretty goofy once you get to know her and says she can be pretty sarcastic, but in a good way.
Spare time is hard to come by. When she gets a free minute, she likes to sleep and watch “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Her playlist of music before games is mostly dubstep but she loves country music as well.
Head coach Kendra Veliz appreciates Shields’ attitude.
“Shannon is a hard working, motivated student-athlete,” Veliz said. “There are several things that make her the player she is but most of all I appreciate her competitiveness.”
Veliz also likes Shields’ work ethic.
“She works hard and the players know they can depend on her to give it her all,” she said.