TIGARD, Ore. (KOIN) — It took some time for Westside Christian Athletic Director Robert Casteel to decipher which of Laura Starapoli’s feet was her strong one. Then, he realized something about his star, freshman soccer player: she was comfortable with both.
The ambidextrous, four-year captain for the Eagles has used that talent to rewrite the school — and nearly the state’s — record book. Staropoli, over a 4-year varsity career, has scored 117 goals, second only in the state rankings to former Hillsboro forward Tiffeny Milbrett, who appeared in 206 games for the U.S. National team from 1991-2006.
“She’s kind of our go-to scorer,” Casteel said, “and she’s very prolific at that.”
Not only is Staropoli a 4-year starter for the Eagles, but she’s a 4-year captain.
“It was kind of shocking,” she said.
Even though the leadership role was a surprise, Staropoli has taken the position in stride, owning it on and off the field.
“I try to be as encouraging as possible,” Staropoli said. “I know how tough it can be with competitions and facing all the hardships — school and everything. So I just wanted to be there for them, a safe place for them to talk to and just (be) a friend.”
Being as good as Staropoli has been, accolades aren’t a surprise. But that’s not her favorite part.
“I love soccer because it’s such a team sport,” she said.
Even though Staropoli is leaving that team after this year, she hopes she’s leaving a legacy.
“I hope the girls, when I’m gone, continue to be great people,” she said.