Taft High soccer star offered scholarship after Bulldog coach noticed her at tournament

Entering senior year in high school, a lot of students don't know where they are going to college after they graduate. Even a smaller few of those students can say that they have an athletic scholarship offer from a Division I college. This is not the case for Isabella Nuncio. She was offered a scholarship to play soccer for Fresno State and has verbally committed to attend there.

“I was at a Silver Lakes Showcase Tournament where college coaches can come and take a look at players. One of the Fresno State coaches was watching one of my games in the tournament where I scored four goals and had a pretty successful game,” Isabella commented when asked about how this all came about.

Nuncio went on to say, “After the tournament, I received a text from the head coach from Fresno State and he said that he thought that I would be a good fit there. He invited me to go and watch the team practice. It was their first day back to practice. I got to watch them all day and then we looked at the campus and the facilities and then began talking about scholarships and committing. At the end of the day we ended up verbally committing.”

The head coach of Fresno State is Brian Zwaschka. He was an assistant coach at Cal, where he worked with U.S. Women's National Team player Alex Morgan. He was also on the coaching staff of the Region IV Olympic Development Program, which prepares girls for the National Teams.

This coach knows soccer, and he definitely recognizes talent when he sees it. What an amazing accomplishment for Isabella to be hand picked by a coach of that caliber.

Isabella was playing for the South Valley Thunder FC in the tournament where she was noticed. The Thunder soccer club have had several of its players recruited by big colleges.

Isabella has been on the varsity soccer team at Taft High since she was a freshman. She has gone on to score 35 goals so far for the Wildcats with one season left to add to that total. She is a fierce competitor on the field whether she is slotting free kicks into the back of the net or taking on defenders one-on-one.

I asked Isabella how long she has been playing soccer, “I have been playing for about 8 or 9 years now. I was playing softball and soccer when I was younger, but I found softball to be a little static. With soccer, I was always moving and always busy.”

Going into her senior year when usually students are having to fill out what seems like endless applications and forms to apply for colleges, I asked Isabella how much of a relief it was knowing that she wasn’t going to have to go through all that.

She replied, “It is really a weight lifted, it is a real blessing. Now I don't have to worry about applying to different schools and whether or not I'm going to get accepted and how I'm going to get scholarships.”

What was it about Fresno State that appealed to Isabella, what swayed her into verbally committing to that school? “The athletic program really takes care of their athletes. When I go there I know I'm not going to go hungry. If I get injured, they are not going to take my scholarship away. I'll be taken care of and they will look out for my best interest.”

Isabella plays soccer all year long. She trains and puts in the practice time to make sure she is constantly improving.