It was a good old-fashioned dose of sibling rivalry that led Bridgette Guerra to her love for soccer. As the one in the family who had always been the “ballerina and dancer” while her younger sister was the “sporty girl,” Guerra watched as her sister continually brought home trophies and medals. At the age of 8, Guerra decided she wanted some awards of her own.
“I told my mom I wanted to go into sports so I could get big trophies,” says Guerra. “And that’s how I started soccer… I was jealous of my sister.”
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Despite her original motivation, Guerra has excelled in the sport, finding a true passion for the game. The former defender-turned-midfielder and varsity player at Cornelia Connelly School enjoys covering the entire field and believes that the midfielder position can be pivotal in each game.
“You can help everyone, which I like,” says Guerra of her role on the team.
Her transition from defender to a position that requires her to “play with the ball” more than she was used to posed some challenges for the 16-year-old junior. She worked with her brother, who is a soccer goalkeeper, to improve her ball-handling skills.
“I had to get used to not just kicking the ball away,” says Guerra of the switch in positions, “and focusing on the little things.”
Additionally, at the suggestion of her mother, Guerra joined Connelly’s cross-country team, “not to do well at cross-country, but to stay in shape for soccer.” After being resistant to the suggestion initially, Guerra found success in this new sport, qualifying for CIF this past season. She also saw a definite improvement in her stamina and endurance on the soccer field.
“Bridgette is an all-star athlete with extraordinary humility. She makes it look easy. Her natural ability, along with hard work and tapping into her potential, has made her excel,” says Connelly’s varsity soccer head coach, Jovan Vega. “For Bridgette, size doesn’t matter. She can sometimes appear to be the smallest player on the field, but she carries with her the strongest heart and strength in the game.”
The Huntington Beach resident keeps busy off the field as a member of several groups on campus including National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Connelly Ambassadors and Campus Ministry. Guerra also is a member of the Girl Scouts, having earned both her Bronze Award and Silver Award.
Her future plans include attending college in either California or Texas, with a goal of studying medicine. And while she has many loved ones in her life who influence and motivate her, Guerra’s mother, a former student athlete at Mater Dei High School, remains her biggest inspiration.
“She’s honestly the person who has pushed me to be who I am today,” says Guerra of her mother. “She’s really my motivation to keep going.”