Catarina Macario: A new women's college star is born

Stanford players Kelley O'Hara, Christen Press and Teresa Noyola won Hermann Trophies in consecutive years (2009-11).

Senior Andi Sullivan, who has already played for the U.S. national team, is the favorite to win this year's award.

Stanford is loaded with great young players -- Sullivan is the only senior on the team -- but the star of the future of women's college soccer is freshman Catarina Macario, who moved to San Diego from Brazil at the age of 12 with the goal of making it as a soccer player.

Macario assisted on all three Stanford goals in the 3-2 win over UCLA in the 2017 Women's College Cup final and finished the season with 17 assists, breaking Press' school record in 2009.

The freshman was a big reason the Cardinal set a school record with 90 goals scored in 2017. She finished the season with 17 goals and 17 assists to lead the nation with 51 points.

“Catarina is incredible," said Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe. "She’s a freshman with the maturity of a senior. Every time she gets the ball she looks like she’s capable of creating, if not, scoring a goal. She had remarkable numbers; there isn’t enough I could say about her.”

Indeed, Macario's stats alone don't justice to show her talent. The balls she played for Sullivan and Jaye Boissiere to score the second and third goals were exquisite. Sullivan's goal followed a Macario through ball to put Stanford up 2-0. Boissiere's curling shot off a ball played back by Macario won the game after UCLA rallied from 2-0 down.

“Possession is what we do best," said Macario, "so after they scored we knew that it was a new game. We had to settle down and play our game. We were confident in our abilities. Jaye was able to score, and now we’re national champions.”

Family move. The limited opportunities for women's soccer players in Brazil prompted Macario's family to move to San Diego. Her father and brother came with her while her mother, a surgeon without a license to practice in the United States, stayed in Sao Paulo.

Catarina became an ECNL legend, scoring 50 goals with the San Diego Surf as a U-14 and set the  ECNL record as its all-time leading scorer with 165 goals. She'd have had more goals but for an ACL tear suffered as a U-16.

Five-year wait. Macario's idol is countrywoman Martabut she wants to play for the USA. According to FIFA rules on naturalized citizens, she'll have to wait five years from her 18th birthday to play for the USA.

Catarino Macario at age 9:

1 comment about "Catarina Macario: A new women's college star is born".
  1. Ric Fonseca, December 4, 2017 at 4:35 p.m.

    Felicidades Catarina!  One irony of this game is that, isn't Coach Paul Ratcliffe a UCLA Bruin?  My daughter attended a UCLA summer soccer camp and Paul was her coach - quite a few years ago!!! Saludos coach Paul R & congratulations, you have most certainly come a long way!!!

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