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Sophie Cortes is everywhere at once

Cortes is one of the Foothill League’s most dynamic players

Posted: February 8, 2014 9:55 p.m.
Updated: February 8, 2014 9:55 p.m.
Hart senior Sophie Cortes is the anchor of a team with a chance to win a Foothill League title. Hart senior Sophie Cortes is the anchor of a team with a chance to win a Foothill League title.
Hart senior Sophie Cortes is the anchor of a team with a chance to win a Foothill League title.

Sophie Cortes is hard to spot when the Hart Indians girls soccer team takes the field.

But it’s not her small frame that causes problems, it’s the fact that at any given moment, she might be anywhere on the field.

Cortes, a 5-foot-tall player with perhaps the Foothill’s biggest personality, is down to earth and self-aware.

She’s also determined.

Determined not to let the Indians finish without a Foothill League title yet again.

The Hart Indians girls soccer team came agonizingly close to a Foothill League championship during the 2011-12 season, and again finished in second place to Valencia a season ago.

As the final two games of the 2013-14 season loom, Hart again has a chance to capture the top spot in league, but it will most likely require back-to-back wins against the top two teams in league, Valencia and Canyon.

The task would seem daunting for Hart if it weren’t for a player like Cortes standing as the backbone of the team’s identity.

“There are a lot of good players out there, but the thing about Sophie is that she’s always out there willing to work harder than the rest of us,” says teammate Georgie Nielsen.

The Indians are hoping it’s that effort, which spreads from Cortes throughout the team, that will propel them to the league title and potentially a CIF run.

“I would love to be known for being on the team that won league,” Cortes says. “Especially with all we’ve accomplished athletically — to win CIF? If we could end up being one of those teams on the board in our school’s gym, that would mean the world to me.”

The past three seasons, Cortes has meant a the world to the Indians.

Her sophomore year, Cortes was a valuable asset in the midfield as a distributor. Last season, her scoring blossomed and she was named to the All CIF-Southern Section Division II team. This year, she’s done a little bit of everything for an Indians team that boasts an intimidating 45-19 goal differential.

Like her role on the field, Cortes’ personality is all over the place.

Her favorite film is “Schindler’s List,” and her favorite musical artist is One Direction.

“She is always making people laugh, and talks to the girls about any subject. She’s not shy in expressing her opinion,” says first-year Hart head coach Guilherme Mitrovich, who says Cortes was one of the first players to stand out when he took over the team. “For our team chemistry, it’s special to have a player like her. If the energy is down, she will be the one to put it together.”

Energy is the name of the game for Sophie, who’s real name is Sophia.

“Sophia just sounds so boring,” Cortes says. “Sophie reflects my personality a lot more.”

And no matter what happens this week and beyond for the Indians, Sophie will still have plenty of big soccer matches ahead of her when she arrives at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas next fall on an athletic scholarship.

But first, Cortes will be back on the field for Hart, helping the Indians as they seek their first Foothill League title since 2007.

What happens on Tuesday at 5 p.m., when Hart travels to take on Valencia, will go a long way in determining if Cortes can realistically achieve her lofty goals for her team.

And if you have a hard time locating the senior midfielder, don’t worry, she’s likely just moments away from commanding your attention.


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