Kristal Luna stood just 25 yards away from the net. Although she’s a midfielder, she was the one to take the shot.
Past every defender and the helpless goalkeeper, she scorched the ball in the upper right of the net.
Head coach Emiria Salzmann Dunn referred to it as the “shot heard ‘round the world.”
The goal gave the Seawolves the lead and eventually the win against San Francisco State on Oct. 2, which kept their undefeated streak alive—a streak that still stands almost four weeks later.
“She brings so much to this team,” said Salzmann Dunn. “We have a player on the team that at any moment can win the game for us.”
Luna, a junior midfielder for the Seawolves this season, has seen nothing but success since putting on the blue and white jersey in 2013, earning starting spot on the field and All-CCAA Honorable Mentions for the past two years.
This season hasn’t been any different.
Luna leads her team with four goals; two of which were game-winning set pieces against CCAA opponents.
Before her career as a Seawolf, Luna grew up in Sunnyvale, where she attended Fremont High School. Her primary soccer coaches were her older brother and father, who was a former forward for the San Jose Earthquakes in the 1987 season.
“Everyone in my family plays soccer,” said Luna. “They always wanted me to play further than the club level.”
And she did just that.
After being recruited by Salzmann Dunn, Luna packed her bags and headed for Rohnert Park.
Although Luna admits that adapting to the college level of play was extremely difficult, primarily because of the amount of fitness needed to play collegiately, she started the first game of the year as a freshman and every game that season.
Luna says the best memories of her time here at Sonoma State are not only ones made the soccer field; they are the ones made with her teammates off the field as well.
“I didn’t think it was going to be like this. From the freshmen to the seniors, we’re just very well connected,” said Luna. “These are the people that I will probably stay friends with for the rest of my life.”
Head coach Salzmann Dunn believes that Luna is, no doubt, a critical part to the team and will continue to be until her final season next fall.
“She is a player that you can never really replace,” said Salzmann Dunn. “It will be hard to find another player like her because she is so unique.”
Salzmann Dunn also says that Luna’s light-hearted spirit and hard-working attitude makes her a natural leader on the field. She wishes that after graduating, she will continue her soccer career as a coach.
“My hope for her is that she stays passionate in this area where she is so talented,” said Salzmann Dunn.
When her collegiate soccer career comes to an end, Luna plans on graduating with a Kinesiology degree with a focus in lifetime fitness. As for now, Luna says that her ultimate goal this season is to become a better leader for her teammates. She will continue to practice, train and play—all while proudly wearing the number 10 on her jersey.
“Sometimes you’re out there so much and training so hard that sometimes you think ‘Is this for me?’ and ‘Why am I doing this?’” said Luna. “But then you go to the field and you find the reason why you’re still playing the sport you love.”