Vanessa Aguilar
Vanessa Aguilar is recognized for her achievement in youth athletics during the 22nd Annual Latino Spirit Awards hosted by the California Latino Legislative Caucus. (Courtesy of Anna Caballero)

SOLEDAD — Soledad native Vanessa Aguilar was among those recognized last month during the 22nd Annual Latino Spirit Awards hosted by the California Latino Legislative Caucus at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

The awards honor the significant contributions of prominent Latino leaders across all industries in California who positively impact the community.

Aguilar was nominated by Sen. Anna Caballero, who represents the 14th State Senate District, to recognize her achievement in youth athletics.

Since age 8, Aguilar has been playing soccer. She has played for the Bay Area Surf and San Francisco Glens, and last year was called to play in the U-17 division of the Mexican National Soccer Team as midfielder.

In March 2023, Aguilar participated in the Montaigu Tournament in France with the U-17 team. During the semifinals, her performance led to a crucial goal in the 100th minute, propelling Mexico to the finals against the USA.

“Her talent and dedication have not only made her a local hero, but also a rising star on the international soccer stage,” stated Caballero on social media May 8.

Aguilar’s soccer journey soared with achievements last year, including making the prestigious Gothia Cup roster through the Player Development Program, earning a spot on the ECNL U-16 first team, and distinguishing herself as the top scorer for the ECNL league with Bay Area Surf.

“Congratulations, Vanessa! You make us so proud,” Caballero said.

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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