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Torrey Pines’ Laurel Gonzalez is first in San Diego to be named CIF Player of the Year in three sports


Quarterback, standout football player, lacrosse champion: Laurel Gonzalez is a legitimate triple threat racking up athletic and academic accolades.

The Torrey Pines High School senior was named CIF Tournament Player of the Year last spring in lacrosse, Player of the Year in soccer in the fall and Player of the Year in soccer in the winter after helping her team win the Open Division championship. She is the first San Diego athlete to win Player of the Year honors in three different sports.

Currently playing in the lacrosse season playoffs to defend last year’s championship, Laurel was also recently named Torrey Pines Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Laurel Gonzalez, Torrey Pines Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Laurel Gonzalez, Torrey Pines Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

(Anna Scipione)

“Laurel is without a doubt an outstanding athlete, and it has been a pleasure to witness her development into also an exceptional leader,” Torrey Pines head football coach Martin Hansford said. “Laurel embodies all the values ​​and qualities any coach would want in a player. Her calm demeanor and quiet confidence are contagious and have been the key to our success. Especially in times of adversity the best athletes find a way to lead their team to victory. What has always stood out to me during my time as Laurel’s coach is happiness.” Which she enjoyed playing sports and being part of the team.

This fall, Laurel will play Big Ten lacrosse at Johns Hopkins University.

Laurel grew up in a family of “sports fanatics” and from a young age, participated in almost every sport or activity possible. She learned the sport easily and enjoyed playing and watching her older sisters play from the sidelines, often tossing the football around with her father.

She played soccer for the Del Mar/Carmel Valley Sharks before moving to the San Diego Force, where she played on the 2005 and 2004 teams. She also started playing lacrosse when she was in first grade.

“I was very interested in soccer all the time, and it was my dream,” Laurel said. “I wanted to be on the U.S. Women’s National Team, which is what I thought I would do in college until ninth grade and I realized I was ‘kind of good at lacrosse’ and then lacrosse became my main sport.”

From recreational lacrosse, Laurel began playing club lacrosse in sixth grade. She played for the West Coast Stars which became Coast Lacrosse and was then recruited to play for the Mad Dog West Elite.

With Mad Dog, Laurel had the opportunity to enhance her lacrosse skills by traveling and playing frequently on the East Coast in tournaments and summer camps: “It’s a completely different game over there,” she said.

As a midfielder, Laurel said her strengths are her IQ and vision. “I make a lot of movements off the ball, and I’m not necessarily in control of the ball. I get further off the ball and can be more intelligent,” she said.

On May 3, the savvy midfielder notched her 200th career goal in high school lacrosse.

While Laurel stopped playing club soccer as a sophomore to shift her focus to lacrosse, she continued to play soccer for the Falcons. As a “ball-dominant” striker, she was one of the team’s leading scorers.

One of the great moments of her high school career was winning a Division I championship in 2022, playing on the JV team and mid-season through the varsity team. “I scored two goals in the championship game,” Laurel offered.

Let the record show that Laurel actually had a hat-trick in the upset win.

Happily busy with sports, Laurel had time to participate in an exciting inaugural girls soccer season this fall. She had previous soccer experience playing Friday Night Lights when she was young, and was a member of the first ever girls team in the Carmel Valley League: “It was so cool to get out there with my dad as my coach and the boys at my school playing and a lot of stuff.” “I got the better of them sometimes,” she recalls.

Laurel was the starting quarterback for the Falcons, who went undefeated on the season and reached the championship game where they unfortunately lost for the first time. “It was still a good run,” Laurel said. “I’ve always loved football…and the opportunity to play in high school was great.”

When it came to playing at the next level, Laurel had three big, dizzying choices between Harvard, Cornell, and Johns Hopkins.

Playing for the Blue Jays won out in the end as Johns Hopkins not only had strong academics to set it up for success, but great energy on the lacrosse side. When she visited the school, she felt very welcome and impressed by the girls on the team.

The competition will be tough in the Big Ten but it is very exciting.

While lacrosse was the main focus, Laurel said continuing to play a variety of sports rather than just specializing helped prepare her in every way as an athlete. The strength of her stick skill in lacrosse is due to the hand-eye coordination she acquired through playing sports such as basketball.

“It helps develop you and makes you more well-rounded,” she said. “It’s something every person should strive to do.”

Many of her teammates are also multi-sport threats, such as Torrey Pines lacrosse teammate Camille Samarasinghe who played with Laurel on the all-girls soccer team when they were younger.

When asked about one of her best memories playing for Torrey Pines, the answer wasn’t easy for Laurel.

“I’m happy and sad to say that’s a tough question,” Laurel said. “Definitely my favorite memory is the lacrosse tournament last season. I played a great game in person, I love the game of lacrosse so much and I have some of my best friends on this team and this was our first win in a while. To win that was pretty special.”

Torrey Pines is the top seed in the lacrosse playoffs, and Laurel expects they could meet rival Coronado in the finals, and that is if they get there, she is careful not to take anything for granted.

She has high hopes for just one championship to cap off her successful high school career: “That would trump everything.”





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