ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure women's soccer sophomore Mia Thatcher recently received an invite from the Puerto Rican Football Federation to try out for the Women's National Team, who is preparing for Olympic qualifiers.
Tryouts are set at the Stadium Ángel Luis Correa, in Cayey, from Sept. 19-Sept. 27. Thatcher made the trip to Cayey on Saturday with the hopes of representing Puerto Rico on an international stage.
Thatcher, whose mother was born in Puerto Rico, is no stranger to this sort of opportunity. In 2017, she tried out for the team and made it as a "select" player. Unfortunately, the devastation of Hurricane Maria forced the Puerto Rican Football Federation to cancel the season.
If Thatcher can make it as a select player this time around, she could get called back to play in more exhibition games with the team. The invitation itself is already a source of pride for Thatcher.
"I'm so proud of myself and everybody that has supported me throughout this and the whole journey," she acknowledged. "We're playing at a different level and in a different environment, so I feel like that will help me step up my game."
There is no shortage of pride from her team and coaches either.
"We think it is an honor for Mia to be invited by the Puerto Rican Football Federation. The opportunity that Mia has earned is the result of her hard work over the past three years. We are excited that she is able to represent Puerto Rico, her family, and St. Bonaventure at such a high level. This is a once in a lifetime chance, and it can open the door for future opportunities. Our entire SBU Soccer Family is supporting Mia and her dreams of wearing the colors of Puerto Rico," St. Bonaventure head coach Steve Brdarski remarked.
Thatcher's journey to St. Bonaventure began in Puerto Rico when she met Coach Brdarski at an assessment camp. She remembers the Bonnies' head coach pulling her aside to work with her one-on-one, and he admired her coachability as they worked on crossing together. Afterwards, Brdarski introduced himself as the head coach of St. Bonaventure's women's soccer squad. This ultimately inspired Thatcher, who is a native of Ohio, to decide to come play for the Bonnies.
The Puerto Rico Women's National Team visited St. Bonaventure in April 2017, playing a friendly at the Marra Athletics Complex. In front of a large crowd, the Bonnies came away with a 2-1 victory.
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