Armijo breaks all-time mark for career goals

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By now most New Mexico high school soccer fans should know that Socorro’s Dezirae Armijo is nothing short of an automatic goal-scoring machine, a virtually unstoppable force on the pitch.

Unless they made the trip to Mars with Curiosity last month they should also know this past Monday she broke the New Mexico record for most career goals by a high school female.

What they might not know is just how humble she’s being about the whole thing.

“That wasn’t the first thing in the back of my mind,” she said. “The first thing in my mind was whatever I can do to help our team win. It wasn’t about any record-breaking. I wasn’t really thinking about that. I was just thinking about how we can win.”

And keep in mind this isn’t the district record or the 3A record. Armijo has scored more times than any female soccer player in the state’s history. Ever.

The record was previously held by St. Michael’s Jordan Miller for six years. She scored 173 career goals. As of Friday morning, Armijo had notched 22 goals this season in only five games for a career total of 178, and the Lady Warriors still have roughly 17 games left to play this season. By the time she and Socorro are done in 2012, this thing might be out of reach for a while.

“It’s pretty unbelievable,” Armijo said. “Like I said, I wasn’t really thinking about it this whole time. Now that it happened I’m like, wow. I can’t really believe it.”

Achieving such a feat may not have always been at the top of her high school checklist, but Armijo has had an array of support ever since she began playing in the American Youth Soccer Organization when she was five or six. She said her parents, grandparents and brothers have always pushed her and supported her, and along with club coach Stephanie Cappola and high school coach Mitch Carrejo, she’s had a network of believers.

“They just kept telling me, keep going,” Armijo said. “They’ve been there for me this whole time, believing in me. They never doubted me.”

At the time it would have been impossible to predict this type of record-setting career, but there was probably never any plausible reason to doubt that Armijo would find some sort of success in the sport. Even after she took a few years off from soccer during middle school, she was good enough to play varsity her eighth grade year.

“I was kind of scared and excited at the same time, but I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.

And again being the polite, humble high school senior she is, Armijo realizes fully that soccer is a team sport, and said the teammates she’s had over the past five years have been behind her, supported her during her career and helped instill a sense of certainty on the pitch.

“My parents have been telling me forever that I was good, but I still needed that confidence in my head I guess,” she said.

Now she’s sure she is good enough to continue her soccer career, and Armijo will head to Alamosa, Colo., next year to play for the Adams State Grizzlies. But she’ll always be a source of pride for Socorro, and not just on the field. She carries a 4.4 Grade Point Average and is a member of the National Honor Society. Armijo is a proverbial daughter to this community and people will likely remember her name and contributions for years to come.

“I guess they’re going to know who I am years from now, hopefully,” she said.

“I hope that they’re proud of me.”