Alexi Nina Arrieta 10th Rifa Cup MVP-A A +A
Saturday, January 26, 2013
UNSTOPPABLE. Fierce. It would be a mistake to mess with her on the field.
Alexi Nina B. Arrieta lived up to her billing by scoring all seven goals in six games en-route to Ateneo de Davao University's winning the girls 1998 championship trophy of the 10th Rifa International Football Cup held recently at Colegio San Agustin (CSA), Dasmariñas Village, Makati.
"I scored in every game we played in except for that scoreless draw against CSA. I always want to win whether it is for the school, club or country," Nina told Sun.Star Davao.
The middle child and only daughter of Buboy and Rachelle Arrieta indeed provided the leadership for the Ateneo squad that was coached by Julio Orcasitas and Rachelle delos Reyes.
Orcasitas was all praises for Nina and fellow national girls U14 mainstay Janna Raizel Barcemo who put up the needed maturity for the team that saw action for the first time in the annual Rifa Cup.
The veteran coach said Nina delivered what was expected of her.
At 15, the five-foot-five junior High School student has been playing for nine years now.
She started by joining a summer football school under coach Danny Adolfo when she was six.
But her father was the major influence in her football career.
Nina recalled, "My father used to play in every weekend tournament and he tagged us along with him. He was a also football scholar from High School to college and that really inspired me to also pursue a scholarship after High School."
She first joined the 2nd Del Monte Cup at Camp Phillips in Bukidnon where her team along with Javi Romero-Salas and Jed Diamante emerged eight years old and under champion.
"Coach Danny made me take the last penalty shot with all the people watching and surrounding us. When I hit the ball straight into the net, everybody was in frenzy. You just can't forget moments like that," Nina said.
She said being a student-athlete is a tough job but she's glad to have found the balance in both worlds - academics and football.
She said, "Prioritize what is important then work from there. Balance is the key."
The French football player Thiery Henry fan considers playing for the country as her biggest achievement so far.
Nina formed part of the national team that competed in the U14 Asian Football Confederation Football for Girls 2011 in Vietnam and in the 2012 AFC regional Qualifier held November 7 to 14 in Manila.
"It's unforgettable to hear the national anthem being played while standing together with my teammates as we represent the country in these international events," Nina shared.
She dreams of being able to play professional women's football and help win a gold medal for the country in Southeast Asian Games.
Her very colorful and decorated football career, with a long list of championships and MVP honors, is a sure big step towards fulfilling her dreams.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 27, 2013.