SRHS alumna thrives in NWSL
By Hector Trujillo
San Diego is known as a sports town, and among the most popular sports is soccer. Many local players, both male and female, have made a name for themselves in the professional ranks while still having a connection to where they came from. Among these athletes is Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) graduate and current Washington Spirit defender Samantha Staab.
“I wouldn’t say I’m too far removed from San Diego and high school to forget my time there,” Staab said. “I love Scripps Ranch and still enjoy visiting in my off time. I know girls now have to choose between playing club soccer or high school soccer, but when I went there, I was able to do both, and it was great.”
Staab considered her time playing for SRHS as something of a break from the hectic club season where she was able to still play with some of her closest friends on the team. Before being drafted in the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) college draft out of Clemson University, she spent time in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) with the San Diego SeaLions in 2017 and San Diego Parceiro Ladies in 2018, along with having the opportunity of participating on the U-23 U.S. Women’s National Team. In 2018, she was called up to play in the Nordic Tournament, where she was the only non-professional player selected for the U.S. roster. Now, playing at the highest tier in women’s soccer, she remains positive for the future.
“Obviously, COVID impacted everyone, and I’m just grateful we were able to play at all last year and into this season,” she said. “My first two years have definitely been memorable and I’m excited to see what this next season holds as well. I think the level of competition in this league is what makes it the best in the world. Every week, you have to bring your A game because anyone can beat anyone.”
As for the recent news that that San Diego will have a NWSL team competing at Torero Stadium starting in 2022, Staab is very optimistic.
“I think an NWSL team would be perfect in San Diego. For one, San Diego is the best city in the U.S. – might be a biased opinion but I definitely think it is true,” she said. “Being such a soccer city, with few other professional sports, I think an NWSL team would be very well supported.”
Staab’s Washington Spirit team is scheduled to play 24 regular season games in 2021 and will compete against San Diego’s NWSL team next season.