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Mavs’ Vela signs to play soccer in Walla Walla

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | March 23, 2024 2:52 PM

MOSES LAKE — Family, teammates, coaches and friends got together at the Moses Lake High School to recognize Mavs girls soccer goalie Gabi Vela, who has signed to play for Walla Walla Community College.

Vela thanked the assembled crowd for their support for her, saying they have been a big part of her soccer experience. 

Vela said she’s been playing soccer most of her life, beginning at five years of age. She played club soccer throughout school and was on the MLHS varsity. She was honorable mention all-league in the Big 9 for the 2023 soccer season.

The goalie’s job can be a little lonely; the only time he or she gets much attention is when the opponent is attacking the net. 

“It definitely takes a lot of leadership,” Vela said.

She is dedicated to her sport and the goalie’s position, and she thinks that showed up in her play, she said. It was also important to her to show leadership on and off the field, and she said she worked to do that.

She was attracted to WWCC by the quality of its soccer program, she said, and the hard work of the players, the coaching staff and head coach Jordan Hacker.

“He’s an amazing person, and I’m excited to work with him,” Vela said.

She expects to have to work harder on a college soccer team, she said, but she’s looking forward to playing with people who are as committed to the game as she is.

“It’s definitely going to be pretty challenging,” she said. 

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.