Mauricio Amezcua-Lopez knows that his position requires an honest day's work.
"I can really handle pressure," says the Coyote forward. "When the team needs, I can hold onto the ball so that the team can hold it together."
But ask him to name his favorite thing to do on the pitch, and his striker's heart shines through.
"I really like to be one-on-one against the keeper," says Amezcua-Lopez, who made good use of his chances in front of goal during his first season in Cuyamaca blue, racking up a team-high 15 goals. The sophomore also tallied six assists, as he and his teammates claimed the PCAC title.
"I'm used to getting good numbers," he says, "but I'm proud of it because we worked really hard for it. Not just for me, but all those goals went toward the championship."
While Amezcua-Lopez and his fellow second year-players "know how hard it is to win the championship," it's unlikely that Head Coach Brian Hiatt-Aleu is planning to let them forget it. "He makes us put our feet back on the ground."
And as they prep for Friday's season opener at Santiago College, they're also in the process of integrating plenty of new faces.
"We have very talented players," says Amezcua-Lopez. "They have assumed responsibility, and are working really hard every day to embrace that. When coach yells at them, they understand, 'Okay, I just need to work on it.'"
Beyond the upcoming season, Amezcua-Lopez is majoring in mechanical engineering. When his family was unable to afford a mechanic at times during his childhood, he would pull up a YouTube video and pop open the hood himself. That experience led him to engineering, and to his ultimate goal of creating new types of engines based on alternative fuel supplies.
Amezcua-Lopez, who takes classes at both Cuyamaca and Grossmont, is hoping to continue his soccer career at a four-year school. He's currently planning to transfer to SDSU for his junior year, but is keeping his options open.