Featured Image: Sophomore Shyenne Diaz on field during game against Shenandoah University. Ross Winner | Marlin Chronicle
Shyenne Diaz, a sophomore at Virginia Wesleyan, plays as a forward for the Women’s Soccer team. The Virginia Beach native is also a Criminology major and last season ranked second in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) in goals and was the top freshman. Diaz made the USC Second-Team All-Region team, was named ODAC Rookie of the Year and was voted first-time all-ODAC. “I think she found a way to score both left and right footed, she scored off a head ball against Guilford,” Head Women’s Soccer Coach Jeffrey Bowers said.
“Shyenne has an amazing personality that gives the team the ability to express themselves for who they are,” Tori Green, a junior on the team, said. “She is one of the players that brings us all together as a team and supports us in all of our lives on and off the field.”
During the 2022 season, Diaz played in 25 games and was a starter for 23 of those games. She scored 13 goals, 6 of them game-winning goals, and had two assists.
“On the field, I try to always give my 110 percent no matter who we play against because as long as you’re doing the best you can then that’s all that matters,” Diaz said. “Same thing off the field, when we’re at practice I try my hardest or else what’s the point of practicing if you’re not trying to get better.”
Diaz receives a lot of motivation from the people in her inner circle. “My mom, teammates, friends, coaches and siblings really motivate me on the field to always do my best,” Diaz said.
Bowers has been head coach of the team for 24 seasons. This is his second year as Diaz’s coach. He has guided the Women’s Soccer program to six undefeated ODAC seasons. He is one of the highest winning coaches in the Division III ranks, sitting tied for 19th with 325 career wins.
“Shyenne is great, brings a lot of energy and has a great personality. It’s infectious, she’s always smiling and having fun and loves soccer. It brings a great love and passion for the game,” Bowers said. “I think we’ve seen her grow and improve throughout the year. In every game we go to, she’s going to be a focal point for the team’s defense.”
Green has gotten to know Diaz both on and off the field. “Shyenne is a very kind person and talks to everyone on the team. At first glance off the field she is a shy person, but once you get to know her she is one of the funniest players on the team,” Green said. “On the field, she puts everything she has out there and never gives up. She runs for the ball even if it’s about to go out. I can see on and off the field how passionate she is about soccer.”
Charlotte Gantt, a sophomore, has played alongside Diaz. “Shyenne is a great teammate on and off the field. She is very kind and so funny and a Stud on the field,” Gantt said.
At the team’s game against Randolph on Oct. 14, the team won 6-0. Diaz scored two goals with assists from first-year Stephanie Koblish and senior Adrianna Gunther. Gantt also scored a goal, as well as senior Kailyn Yeager and first-year Cailey Johnson. The final goal of the game was scored by senior Breacian McClenahan with an assist from junior Miranda Conroy.
The team returns to the field Saturday, Oct. 28 against Hollins University for their last regular season game. The game will happen at the Tassos Paphites Soccer Complex. They then host the first round of the ODAC tournament on Oct. 31; the time is yet to be determined.
By: Chloe Booher