Former Bayfield soccer star Keenan Moreta finds herself now heading into the NCAA Division II realm, snapped up from Otero Junior College in La Junta by West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, W.Va.
"It's just an adventure," she said of her ongoing college soccer experience, calling earlier this summer on her cell from a training site in Arizona. "And I really enjoyed West Virginia on my visit. It's a lot like Durango, with all the mountains and stuff."
"It's like a 36-hour drive.. Dad (Tony Moreta) wanted to fly me out, but I'm like, 'I need a car!'"
Named Second Team All-Region after all was said and done, Moreta's four goals-including the match-winner Oct. 19, 2013, at home versus Western Nebraska CC-and five assists helped Otero to an impressive 12-4-1 overall record last fall, and region runner-up status in the regular season. "We're proud of Keenan's efforts on and off the field," said Lady Rattler head coach Jamie Hutchison, "and look forward to her future success."
"I feel like I've progressed so much, looking back at high school," Moreta said, anticipating her Aug. 16 introduction to Wesleyan. "I've got better touch, and.it's so much faster-a higher level."
Coach Patrick Holguin's Lady Bobcats at Wesleyan ended their season well by winning a tournament and should return all four all-tourney players in 2014.
Under Coach Holguin in 2012, Wesleyan made the program's first NCAA Tournament victory since 1997.
"My main goal would be just to earn a starting spot," said Moreta, part of BHS' Class of 2012, "and then help them as far as I possibly can. Just becoming a D-II starter-that's basically my goal now."
That and maintaining the 3.46 GPA which produced an associate of arts degree at Otero's commencement on May 3.
"I think I'm leaning towards communications and marketing," she said of her possible WVWC academic pursuits. "But it's still all up in the air."
"I've grown a lot," she continued. "Even at the JuCo level.it all goes by so fast. You need to work your hardest to keep your spot. And it's an opportunity, so I might as well take it!"