Jun. 19—There is an idiom that fittingly describes Alexia Moreira's collegiate soccer career.
Moreira, a Jacksonville High School graduate, has been able to have her cake and eat it too.
For the past two season she has been a starting midfielder for the Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies. During her time at TJC, Moreira was a part of two national championship teams, and to cap her career as a junior college player off with an exclamation mark, Moreira earned Offensive Most Valuable Player at the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament earlier this month.
"I enjoyed my time at TJC every step of the way," Moreira said. "After winning a national championship my freshman season, I came back home to Jacksonville last summer and worked out regularly at Cook Field and got the touches needed to get ready for the (2021) season. With soccer being pushed back from fall to spring (coronavirus), we knew it would be more difficult to get ready to play and that we would have the heat to deal with a the end of the season."
The next chapter in her life will unfold beginning later this summer in Nacogdoches, as Moreira has signed with Stephen F. Austin State University.
"I am so grateful that an opportunity worked out that has allowed me to play for Stephen F. Austin, because it is a great school, with a strong soccer program and it is close to home; all of those things are very important to me," Moreira said. "To be able to finish my college career in East Texas is special."
SFA finished 10-6-3 overall last season and went 8-3-1 in its final season as a member of the Southland Conference — SFA will be joining the Western Athletic Conference later this summer.
Not only does Moreira have family and friends in Jacksonville, she is also genuinely interested in remaining connected to the young girls who are coming up through the ranks in the local soccer scene, and wants to give back by doing whatever she can to make the kids better players as they perfect their skills.
"I want to do things the right way," Moreira said. "I would not have been able to accomplish what I have been able to do without people like coach Jesus Ledesma and coach (Colton) McCown teaching me and making me a better player and I want to be able to do the same for the younger soccer players in Jacksonville. I want to see those girls grow in the sport and help them reach their goals in any way I can."
Moreira also is appreciative of her parents and of Sissy Austin.
"Sissy Austin has always been such a role model for me," Moreira said.
Moreira said that she plans on majoring in kinesiology at SFA and that she hopes to become a teacher and coach following graduation.
NOTE: SFA will open the season at 3 p.m., Sat., Aug.14 when the Ladyjacks host LSU.