Julissa Gallegos

Goochland’s Julissa Gallegos (20) controls possession of the ball in a 2019 regular season home game versus Nottoway. Gallegos, a senior, will attend and play NCAA Division III college soccer for Marymount University in Arlington this coming year.

Julissa Gallegos had always wanted to go to a really small school, and Marymount University was one of the choices. They had a good program for what she wanted to do, and she also wanted to still play soccer in college. She contacted the soccer coach to see if there was anything she could do, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic beginning to affect schools, businesses and life in general across the country.

Gallegos chatted with the coach and showed her some videos of her playing soccer.

She ended up making it onto Marymount’s team.

“It makes me really happy,” she said of having made her decision and knowing where she’s going.

Gallegos praised the Marymount team’s personnel.

“The coaches, they’re super nice, and I was glad to have met them,” she said. “With the soccer players, I haven’t officially met the older group, but I know my Class of ’24 that’s coming in, we all bonded already and we’re already like a big family and I’m so happy.”

She’s planning to continue playing center forward at Marymount. At Goochland, she held the role of captain.

“I knew what it meant to be a leader, and now that there are different leaders, I know what to expect to come from me,” she said.

Gallegos contributed nine goals and three assists to a Goochland girls soccer team that in 2019 reached the Class 2, Region A semifinals and finished the year with a final record of 12-6.

She also made Second Team All-State following the end of the 2019 season.

After Gallegos scored two goals in the Bulldogs’ 7-0 win over Nandua in last spring’s regional quarterfinals, her head coach Paul Manno praised her power and pace in her game. He also spoke to how hard she worked to find a lower gear once she breaks away in order to make an easy pass into the goal.

Gallegos said she’s usually a quiet person on the field, so she’s hoping to improve on her on-field communication. She’ll also look to participate in a soccer clinic for Marymount if it’s still going on, as well as play sand soccer during the summertime.

Academically, Gallegos is planning on going into pre-med, and she noted that Marymount has a really good biology program.

“I’ve always just wanted to help others more than what I’ve been doing now,” said Gallegos, who as of this time is looking more towards being a surgeon.

Gallegos would have played her senior season this spring, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to school closures across the country and the subsequent cancellation of the Virginia High School League spring sports seasons.

With everything going on, she told herself: “I just need to live in the moment.”

“I need to do what I love to do,” she said. “I can’t have anything stop me.”

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