Freshman forward makes an immediate impact for women’s soccer


Photo by Weicheng Han

Freshman forward Mia Root sets up for a shot on goal during SDSU’s loss to University of San Diego.

by Matthew Fierst, Staff Writer

Placerville is a small California town about 45 miles east of Sacramento that is also the starting point of Mia Root’s journey.

Root, a freshman forward on San Diego State women’s soccer team, had to overcome various challenges while growing up in the small town.

“It’s quiet and not really a soccer town,” Root said. “I had to travel long distances to play for competitive clubs because there’s mostly only recreation clubs (in Placerville).”

Root’s interest in soccer blossomed at a young age, and her family, as well as professional club teams saw saw on television, served as an influence.

“I come from a soccer family,” Root said. “From when I was a baby my dad made me watch soccer on T.V. I watched Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo and fell in love with the game.”

As her soccer skills developed, Root became a member of the National Premier League, where she set the single-season goal record with 37 in 15 games. Root also competed in the Dana Cup in Denmark and the Gothia Cup in Sweden on a team made up of Swedish and Danish players.

In 2011, Root became a member of the state’s NorCal Player Development Program, where she was given the opportunity to play against the U-15 Japanese National Team, an experience she said was vital for her development.

“It was a huge opportunity and a surreal experience,” Root said. “I was happy to play against great players and great competition.”

After playing for competitive clubs, Root’s next step was deciding where to play college soccer. The recruiting process turned out to be less than ideal.

“I had a tough recruiting process,” Root said. “I felt like other schools didn’t really give me a chance.”

One of the reasons Root chose to come to San Diego was head coach Mike Friesen.

“Mike made it clear that he wanted me (to play for SDSU),” Root said. “He really believed in me.”

The decision to play for the Scarlet and Black has turned out to be a good one, as Root is making an impact as a true freshman. Root leads the team with three goals and seven points this season.

She credits her success to her teammates.

“The team has contributed (to my success),” Root said. “From practice to game time, my teammates have always been there for me.”

As her freshman campaign pushes forward, Root wants to continue playing well while bringing more success to the women’s soccer program.

“I want to keep doing well and keep helping the team to victories,” Root said. “And hopefully we’ll get those Mountain West trophies and make the NCAA tournament.”