26 Sep 2020-21 Napa County Girls Soccer Player of the Year: Salvestrin makes her fellow Braves better | High School
Branagan-Franco isn’t the only coach who’s nominated Salvestrin for County Player of the Year. Vintage head coach Miguel Ayala has also recommended her for the top award the last two years.
“Miguel coached me with Napa United (club soccer) for a few years and he’s been such a big part of my soccer career,” she said. “He really changed me into the player that I am, playing higher-level soccer. I’ll be trying to help us make the playoffs this year and prove that Justin can compete with all these other teams.”
She likes male coaches, undoubtedly, because she grew up with one.
“Me and my dad are always challenging each other, saying ‘I can do better than you,’ so I kinda got my competitive spirit from him,” she said. “But my coaches have also driven me a lot to do better.”
It’s easy to spot Salvestrin in a game. At 5-foot-11, she’s the one who looks like a basketball player.
“I was pretty average height going into high school, 5-4, 5-5, and then freshman and sophomore years I had a huge growth spurt,” she said. “I’ve learned how to use my height to my advantage. I can take longer strides, becoming faster at sprinting, and be able to win balls that are in the air.”
Having played baseball, she felt as a sophomore she would try playing softball for Justin-Siena.
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