In her return to Goochland High School, Victoria Lopez quickly made an impact on this year’s girls basketball team.
The 6-foot-1 senior became one of her unit’s most consistent double-digit scoring threats, and she brought plenty of defense through her rebounding and blocking abilities. She could also double-double, as evidenced by her 13 points and 20 rebounds recorded in a 75-26 win over Central Lunenburg on Jan. 8.
Lopez helped her Goochland girls basketball team win the James River District Championship and achieve an 18-7 record. She was also named to First Team All-District.
But it wasn’t supposed to be her final season as a high school student-athlete.
Lopez was also set to play for the Goochland High School girls soccer team this spring, further bolstering a deep and talented roster of players who sought to build upon last year’s regional semifinalist season and final record of 12-6.
But then the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States, leading to all schools closing across the state, and also to the Virginia High School League subsequently cancelling all spring sports for the year.
Lopez talked about how she got into soccer, her favorite memories, the life lessons she’s taken away from the game and her future plans.
Goochland Gazette: How did you first get into soccer?
Victoria Lopez: My dad has also loved soccer and when I saw my older sister J.J. get into it and saw how much she loved it, I decided to try it out and truly enjoyed the sport.
GG: What do you feel you brought to the field and to the team that helped you stand out and/or contribute?
Lopez: I feel that I am very aggressive and my effort motivated the team to try their best as well.
GG: What made you enjoy or fall in love with the sport?
Lopez: I love how competitive the game is, and it brought my family together, which made me love it even more.
GG: What was it like playing with your team in that sport?
Lopez: It was a very happy environment. We always have a good time even when we are running.
GG: What was a favorite memory from games, practices and/or hanging out with your teammates?
Lopez: One of my favorite memories of this season is when we went away for a scrimmage and it was really cold, so all of the girls crowded into the restroom to stay warm.
GG: Are there life lessons or takeaways that go beyond the field that the game has helped you to see or realize?
Lopez: Life isn’t always going to be easy and it’s not always going to go your way, so we have to learn how to take a loss and turn it into our motivation.
GG: How tough was it for you to find out there would be no spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Lopez: It was really heartbreaking, especially because I am a senior and this was my last chance to play on a team.
GG: What will you look to do either with sports or in general, and has losing the spring season affected your thoughts on what the future might hold for you athletically and/or academically?
Lopez: It hasn’t changed my mindset. I have a goal to become a nurse and I won’t let this obstacle stand in the way of that
GG: Is there anything you would like to add?
Lopez: I really appreciate everything that the coaching staff, athletic director, school and athletic trainers have done for me throughout my high school career.
I know that last year I wasn’t here, but I was really happy that I made the decision to come back.
There is really no place like Goochland and its athletic program.