The quote by Zig Ziglar, “God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers,” is printed on senior Nicole Leggio’s letterman jacket. Not only does she carry it around with her, but she truly embodies it.
Leggio started her passion for soccer at the age of four by playing at the Upland Arena with her two older brothers. She continued on to play for Upland’s American Youth Soccer Organization, or AYSO, at five years old. By the age of seven, she was on her first club team called Arsenal.
Leggio has continued with soccer for so long due to the friendships she has made, keeping herself healthy, and competing against various teams. Currently, she is holding midfield for the Slammers FC club team.
She also plays the position of offensive midfield for St. Lucy’s. She has been a participant of the SL soccer team since her freshman year, with the exception of sophomore year, due to injury.
“I tore my ACL and meniscus the summer going into sophomore year when I was in Hawaii for regionals for my club team,” Leggio explains.
During one game, she stepped to kick the ball and her knee twisted outwards. She adds, “I heard three pops and immediately fell on the floor. I could not get up or walk on it.”
One month later, Leggio had surgery on her knee, which was done by Dr. Bert R. Mandelbaum, who has been the doctor for the national women’s soccer team. Her surgery required her to stop playing for both SL and club soccer for a year. She received physical therapy at Team Therapy in Rancho Cucamonga.
Leggio comments, “My parents are my biggest supporters because they have been by my side through all my hardships. They push me to do what I want to do in my life. They are the ones that wake up at four in the morning to drive me across the country to play soccer.”
Aside from the game, Leggio is involved in National Charity League (NCL), where she participates in philanthropy around her community. Through NCL, she delivers meals to senior citizens in Claremont, called Ability First, and volunteers for American Red Cross.
She also volunteers at a local animal shelter, and is an active participant in St. Lucy’s Junior Statesmen of America (JSA), the Recycling club, and Captain’s Council.
Leggio is officially committed to Pepperdine University for soccer. She concludes, “I am looking forward to being out of the house and living by the beach. I am excited to meet new friends and to have new experiences, while playing the game that I love.”