Home Sports Local Sports Roswell’s Natalie Iglesias is a team player

Roswell’s Natalie Iglesias is a team player

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Roswell senior soccer player Natalie Iglesias. (Submitted Photo)

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For Roswell senior Natalie Iglesias, this year has not gone as expected. Her dreams of playing at the Cielo Grande Soccer Complex has been put on pause until there is a return to normalcy. For Natalie, this was to be her time to shine and play as a holding midfielder.

Natalie has gained experience playing on junior varsity for the last three years. She recalled her favorite memory of Roswell soccer was when the varsity team traveled to Artesia and won last season. Natalie had not played in the varsity game, she had only played in junior varsity games. But that game left an impression on her.

“It was fun for everyone,” Natalie said. “It was intense and a good game. I just want to start playing soon, this is my senior year. I thought it was going to be a good senior year. Hopefully, it starts soon.”

Natalie thinks there is a bright spot to the COVID-19 pandemic because she gets to see her teammates and do conditioning, albeit in the pods 5:1. She knows conditioning might not be fun, but she says it beats the alternative of not seeing her coaches and teammates. According to Roswell coach Samantha Lawrence-Ward, Natalie has made tremendous strides since starting in the program as a freshman.

“Natalie’s worked very hard every day to get to where she’s at today,” Lawrence-Ward said. “Her work ethic is very unique.”

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What has impressed Lawrence-Ward is that Natalie does not complain, she comes to practice and works hard. She does what she is asked of her. Lawrence-Ward thinks that’s hard to find in today’s society, and what has helped Natalie grow soccer-wise is her work in the weight room, becoming one of the strongest girls on the team.

Instead of roaming the halls with her friends and sitting in classes, Natalie has had to deal with a new way of learning academically. Since the start of the school year, she has had to do her classwork with remote learning.

“I learn a lot better in person way better,” Natalie said. “Through the internet, it’s not the same.”

For as long as Natalie can remember, she has always had her family, friends, school and sports be a part of her life. So far, she says her senior year has been the toughest for her teammates. They have been playing soccer together since being in the Roswell Youth Soccer Association. In a few months, Natalie will have graduated and will move on to bigger challenges.

“Natalie is not afraid to try anything new,” Lawrence-Ward said, “and that sets her apart. She’s an outstanding student-athlete and a free spirit who looks for fun in everything she does. Natalie works hard in school and in her extracurricular activities. She takes pride in her family, friends, school work, her job and soccer. She is a leader on and off the field. Natalie is always trying to help people, she has the biggest heart. Natalie will do amazing things in life and I’m blessed to have been able to coach her and have her in my life.”

Before graduating and becoming an adult, Natalie would like to be a kid a little longer. She wants to go back to school and play soccer her senior year.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.