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Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Carissa Capinpin’s stellar play led to her first CCAA Honors of the season

The leadership of the women’s soccer team captain has great impact on and off the field
Andrew Fogel
Carissa Capinpin, a senior and captain of the SFSU women’s soccer team, throws a soccer ball in the air during a portrait shoot in Cox Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023. (Andrew Fogel/Golden Gate Xpress)

Carissa Capinpin’s competitive spirit brought the women’s soccer team a lift out of a five-game losing streak last month and earned herself the California Collegiate Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Week award.

The senior scored two goals in two games which helped lead the Gators to a 3-1 victory against Fresno Pacific on Sept. 19 and a 1-1 draw against Cal State Monterey Bay on Sept. 23.

The women’s soccer team got out to a rough patch to start the season, losing their first five games, but Capinpin’s goal against Fresno Pacific boosted the team to their first win of the season.

“I think it was really cool seeing that [award], I’ve never really gotten that before so it was cool to be awarded that,” Capinpin said. “Both those goals came from possession from the team. I also had a goal this year that I wanted to shoot more and so they weren’t just like rebound goals. They were good shots that came from possession, which I was happy about.”

Capinpin’s journey has always been about winning. Before her time at San Francisco State University, she had won Division 1 and CIF State championships at Carondelet High School in Concord.

Through the first part of the season, Capinpin and the team have actively tried to figure out ways to get better.

(L-R) Carissa Capinpin, SFSU senior, and Payton Heaney, a CSUEB junior, battle for the ball during the SFSU vs. CSUEB women’s soccer match in Cox Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. (Andrew Fogel / Golden Gate Xpress)
Andrew Fogel

“I think that our problem was the mentality and it just took a while for our team to mentally be ready for games. We all got along and we would practice all together but when it came to the actual games, we struggled with the mentality part,” Capinpin said. “I think just talking about it more, and making sure everyone was on the same page and have the same goals has helped us and now that Conference is starting, we’ve been making sure that we’re all on the same page.”

Senior co-captain Alyna Flores took notice of Capinpin’s leadership and how it spread across the team.

“Carissa is the type of teammate and captain that just leads by action. She is vocal but I would say that was more of her style, just action rather than words,” Flores said. “Everybody looks up to her because she’s always having her head down and just grinding and doing what needs to be done for the team.”

Capinpin has led by example for this team. No matter the task at hand, she is giving her full effort.

“On and off the field, her priorities are just really straight. She’s always focused on whatever it is she’s doing,” Flores said. “She’s always willing to put in 100%, whether that’s being a good friend to someone off the field or just a simple dribbling drill that we would do in practice. So watching her translate that into something bigger, like winning this award, was just really cool to see as well because she deserves this recognition.”

Her academics have matched her performances on the field as well. She won several academic awards last season including the 2022 CCAA Academic Honoree, CCAA All-Academic Award and D2 ADA Academic Achievement Award.

“I definitely make sure I prioritize my academics with scheduling classes on top of practices. I try to get my classes done early in the day so that I have the rest of the day after practice to just fully work on my academics, I think I stay pretty focused,” Capinpin said. “When we have practice, I’m focused on the practice and then when I’m in class, I make sure that I’m focused on what I’m hearing and what I’m seeing. I just think I’m pretty organized and I write things down to make sure I complete everything I have on my list.”

Renee Davis, a freshman midfielder, lived with Capinpin while they were training for the season. Davis explained how her captain helped her transition into the college lifestyle as an incoming freshman.

“She took me and one of the other freshmen under her wing, she was like a mentor to us,” Davis said. “She would answer any questions that we had about the team or about the coach and she’s just a good person all around, she somehow always knows the right thing to say.”

As the semester started, Capinpin has also helped the younger players off the field.

Carissa Capinpin, SFSU senior, chases the ball during the SFSU vs. CSUEB women’s soccer match in Cox Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. (Andrew Fogel / Golden Gate Xpress) Andrew Fogel 

“I try to use my experience to help them. I obviously know what it’s like to be new because we were all new at one point on this team and just relaying my experience, and how to deal with hardships of playing time, or feeling bad about yourself or your play, and how to mentally just like, pick that up,” Capinpin said. “I try to talk to the girls more one on one rather than like in big group settings, to get to know them, so then I know how to talk to each person on the team and how they pick up information easier. I think just trying to get to know people on a personal level, helps me help them.”

As a freshman, Capinpin received All-CCAA Second Team honors and played a big role on the team. For freshman who are still trying to fit into the college game, she’s the main person freshmen can go talk to.

“She’s someone you can always look up to or go to if you ever need anything, she’s everything you would want in a best friend is the best way to put it,” said senior forward Haley Molinari. “She’s a great person and she is humble and kind, if you were a stranger on the street she would say hello to you.”

Capinpin looks up to her parents and tries to model herself after them but especially her dad, where they are both on the quieter side.

“I look up to my parents a lot and I would say my dad, especially, we’re pretty similar people in that we’re more on the quiet side, and we take things in and think about them before we say anything. And I would say that I kind of lean on our team in that way,” Capinpin said. “I think about things a lot before I say anything, because I want the team to be successful. I would say I observe a lot and then once I decide what needs to be said or done, then I relay that to the team,” Capinpin said.

Molinari added that Capinpin’s grit and competitive spirit are a big reason for her success and the team hopes to build on their momentum.

“If you could take her leadership, her communication, the way she’s a role model and make your own version of that, you are going to be extremely successful, whether it is in soccer, school and life later on. She’s a great person,” Molinari said.

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About the Contributors
Arman Archouniani
Arman Archouniani, Sports Editor
Arman Archouniani (he/him) is the sports editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. He was born and raised in Daly City and enjoys living in the area. As a kid, his dream was to become a professional athlete. Arman loves his local sports teams such as the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco 49ers, and the San Francisco Giants. He was previously the sports editor for The Skyline View at Skyline College. His dream now is to become a sports analyst for a major sports media company.
Andrew Fogel
Andrew Fogel, Photographer
Andrew Fogel is a photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine who’s majoring in photojournalism and minoring in labor and employment studies. If he’s not taking photos, Andrew can be found rooting for the various Philadelphia sports teams. He aspires to be either a staff photographer or a sports photographer in the future.

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