Soccer player

Benicia High soccer player Daniela Osejo is Athlete of the Week – Times-Herald

Hat tricks are often talked about in football, but they don’t happen that often.

Sophomore Daniela Osejo could have been the envy of the Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland” last week. She had two hat tricks in 36 hours for the Panthers in wins over American Canyon and Pittsburgh.

Last week’s six goals earned Osejo Times-Herald Athlete of the Week.

“She’s just very consistent and she has a good knowledge of the game,” said Benicia head coach Javier Martinez. “I think her teammates are really looking for her. She is very quick to make decisions when they give her the ball.

Osejo, 15, has been playing soccer since the age of 4 and has been playing competitively for five years. The last 2 1/2 years have been for the Walnut Creek Surf Soccer Club.

“I think what I like about football is that it brings me joy and it’s a good distraction from school,” she said. “It’s a way to de-stress and you bond a lot with your teammates.”

The midfielder/forward made his varsity debut as a rookie last spring during a pandemic-shortened season. The Panthers were impressive, going 11-0. Heading into this season, Osejo knew her teammates better and vice versa. Benicia have won six of their first nine games of the 2021-22 campaign.

“I think I feel more comfortable and confident,” she said.

Osejo said two of her teammates who have won her the ball a lot are seniors Allysa Ballinger and Olivia Kamm.

Of the two hat-tricks, she said: “It was definitely a big surprise. It’s quite difficult to do and the teams really challenge us. I got a lot of help from my teammates.

Martinez said he noticed Vacaville High marking Osejo very hard in a game later that week. Osejo said she was comfortable with the physical nature of the college game.

“It’s really difficult,” she said. “I’m getting beat up a bit but I’m pretty used to it. I’m just trying to go with the flow.

The non-league part of the schedule is almost over, so when Benicia returns on January 4, the Panthers will be looking to defend their Diablo Athletic League title.

“As a team, I think we’ve been doing pretty well so far,” she said of the season. “I think we can connect with even more passing and create more scoring opportunities.”

Martinez said it’s rare for a player on her team to score three goals.

“We like to involve more than one person most of the time, but she has a knack for finding the purpose,” he said.

Honorable Mention

  • Trinity Billingsley (American Canyon women’s basketball) finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and eight steals in a win over Benicia.
  • Peyton Holcomb (Benicia women’s basketball) had 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in a win over Petaluma. She added 19 points and 13 rebounds in a loss to Pittsburgh and 21 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to Will C. Wood.
  • Nick Medeiros (St. Pat’s Men’s Basketball) was named Casa Grande Tournament MVP on Saturday after scoring 24 points in the championship game against Petaluma. He had 24 points in the semi-final against Montgomery and 17 points in the first round against Windsor.
  • E’Jay Rogers (Benicia men’s basketball) finished with 25 points, including five 3-pointers, in a win over American Canyon. Rogers had 11 points in a win over El Cerrito and 10 more in a loss to Oakland.
  • Marco Valenzuela (Bethel boys soccer) had shutouts in goal in wins over Hercules and Armijo.
  • Jonathan Webster (Bethel boys basketball) finished with 35 points in a win over Richmond.

Toyota Vallejo Athlete of the Week

Name: Daniela Osejo

Sports: Soccer

Year: Second year

Accomplishments: She recorded hat tricks in wins over American Canyon and Pittsburgh.