EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. — A Ponderosa High School soccer star is heading to Sweden Friday to compete and represent California in the Gothia Cup.
Paloma Daubert, a rising junior at Ponderosa High School, has been playing soccer for over 10 years.
In addition to being on Ponderosa's Varsity Soccer team, Daubert plays for San Juan Soccer Club's ENCL program where her primary position is a left wing back.
Not only is Daubert a star athlete, but she excels in her academics too. Although she says it's difficult for her to balance being an athlete and a student, she's maintained a 4.0 GPA during her first two years at Ponderosa.
"There are some late nights that I have to stay up and do homework or do homework in the car," said Daubert. "For me, I know that school comes first, so when there is a big project, I know I have to put my foot forward with that."
Daubert's hard work and dedication to the sport of soccer has led her to competing and representing California in the Gothia Cup, which is considered the "World Cup of youth soccer." The Gothia Cup is being held in Sweden from July 17-23 with nearly 1,700 teams from 80 nations competing.
Daubert says she has spent the last year preparing to compete in the Gothia Cup with girls from all over California.
"I was super excited to know that I was picked with girls who are definitely older than me," said Daubert. "I am a little intimidated to be one of the younger ones on the team, but I feel that I have proven myself to be on the team and am excited to grow and learn from the people around me."
Although Daubert feels slightly intimidated that she is one of the youngest on the team, her coach Katie Blough says you would never know that from her skillset.
"Paloma is a versatile player that can play almost every position on the field," said Blough. "She is deceptive in her movement as she just glides and moves quickly."
Blough said Daubert has been an asset to the team she coaches.
"She's a tough one to play against and a great one to play with," said Blough. "She really just loves the game and never turns down an opportunity to play."
Blough is excited to watch Daubert play and cannot wait to root her on from her home state.
"I think it is going to be an awesome opportunity for her to get to play internationally against teams from all over," said Blough. "For me, personally, I just want her to go be herself, be confident, and take risks."
Daubert hopes international scouts come to watch the Gothia Cup as she has dreams to play soccer professionally in Europe in the future.
"I am hopeful that they will come watch me play and that I am able to live up to their expectations," Duabert said.
She and her team have high expectations they will perform well in Sweden as they won the NorCal Player Development Program tournament a few years ago.
"Since we won the PDP tournament, we have a lot of eyes looking at us," said Daubert. "I think we can make it to the finals and hopefully win the trophy as well."
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