A look inside what AASCA soccer is really about
Every year, soccer teams from American private schools around Central America look forward to participating in the AASCA soccer tournament. The Association of American Schools of Central America unites schools and creates meaningful connections as well as healthy competitions through this event. AASCA was postponed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic, but it was reinaugurated this year. We couldn’t have been happier.
AASCA 2022 was hosted by Lincoln International Academy in Nicaragua, from February 16th to 20th. Eight schools from Central America were able to participate, bringing together six female teams and eight male teams. Both our varsity teams participated, counting with the significant effort on the part of Ms. Milena Picasso (our school’s Athletic Director), Ms. Jasmila Etienne (our Coordinator), and Mr. Oyanguren (our Headmaster). In addition, the team's coaches, who dedicated themselves completely to help us reach our fullest potential, contributed greatly to our school’s success.
Male and female teams at the AASCA pep rally. Photo Credit: Lucía Salvo
The male team proudly took the title of AASCA Champions 2022 and the female team, although we got 5th place, left our school’s name on high with excellent sportsmanship. Our captains, Isabella Robelo and Alejandro Parada were both presented the MVP award as they showed complete dedication outside and on the field. All team members displayed hard work and passion in every game.
However, although AASCA is a competition and the goal is to win, the journey was more important than winning the trophy. Practicing for 16 weeks with 20 teammates, learning the weaknesses and strengths of each one, ultimately led us to become a family.
The most important part of a team is cooperation and motivation; it’s the key to winning and having a great time. Although some girls on my team shed a few tears after a frustrating defeat, motivation was always high. Singing in the buses and chanting for our school lifted our spirits. After every game, each team waited in the lobby of the hotel for the other to arrive and cheered for them, even if the results of the game were not positive.
The female team lost their first three games, and although it might sound depressing, our hopes were always high. I can sincerely say that being part of the female team was one of the best experiences of my life, even though we got fifth place in the end. After every game we had, we sang and danced with our competitors, leaving the field with smiles on our faces.
The female team bonding with the American School of Tegucigalpa, after losing the game to them. No hard feelings at all. Photo Credit: Lucía Salvo
The male team went into AASCA with their hopes up and they were not disappointed. They played with their heart and soul, winning almost every game, till they got the Champions title. Their playful spirit carried them through, but they were also serious when it got to winning. They clapped and showed respect to every opposing team, although they were seen as underdogs at first.
The teams are no longer called teams, but family. The bond between each individual grew to the extreme, not only during AASCA but after it as well. If I could give a piece of advice to the next AASCA teams, it would be to know that motivation and team spirit in the field are the only things you need to be real champions.