Sila Finau grew up in Santa Fe, N.M., a town where one major league baseball team – the Colorado Rockies – is located.
Now she plays for a team that is several baseball’s other “other” major leagues. Finau has made a name for herself with No. 9 Colorado women’s soccer, in 2015 becoming the first Bronco to ever win the Mountain West Player of the Year award.
Her playing time and position have been up and down. It wasn’t until last season that she earned a full-time starting role at right-back. She played just a part of 10 games on the first team before missing the rest of the year with an injury. In year two, she started a career-high 16 games on the regular season and was also one of just seven Colorado players to score multiple goals.
This year, Finau is one of seven Colorado players to have already scored a goal.
Despite the fact that she has already won a Mountain West Championship and a PAC-12 Tournament title, Finau is still lacking.
While she believes in the importance of success, the 22-year-old isn’t a crazy fan of the term.
“It’s such a cliche word,” Finau said. “Me personally, I don’t mind winning, and I wouldn’t change it, but I think we always need to find our own identity and learn from our past successes and failures, and really learn how to be better as players individually. It’s not about the wins or losses. It’s about how we can get better.”
Finau said one of the keys to her success this season was being able to work her way into the position she’s played most of her career.
“Even during that injury (in 2015), I kind of knew that I was going to make my way into the right-back position. And then after I had the surgery (in 2016), I was finally able to put together a consistent run and I could keep pushing myself each and every day, and keep pushing the team to try and get better in practice and get better on the field.”
Finau is also being helped along by her twin sister, Alissa. The sisters have been playing since they were young, and because of that, they believe the experience they got from each season has helped them improve their games.
“Just watching her from the sideline, and in the heat of the game, fighting, she really taught me how to be aggressive, how to hustle, how to be a fighter in the head and how to keep going even when you’re having a tough day. Not just a good day but a tough day, and that kind of did more for me than just working on my game for sure,” Alissa Finau said.
“My role this year is much more attacking-based and attacking-minded, whereas last year I was more right back, and she was more midfield type of stuff, but I think that helps her. She has kind of grown into that position and she fits into our system well,” she added.