Mesa’s Dany Ramirez continues a scoring spree that started in high school soccer

Mesa State College’s Dany Ramirez makes a diagonal run with the ball during a recent game against Ft. Lewis College at Walker Field. Ramirez is new to the Mesa State program this year, but leads the team in scoring.

Dany Ramirez is a natural.

For her, sports come easily.

The Mesa State College sophomore from Rupert, Idaho, didn’t start playing soccer until the eighth grade and has scored goals at will through high school and one year in junior college.

Now, she is helping the Mavericks fill a huge scoring void left by All-RMAC forward Lauren Sell.

“It seems to me, junior college kids are overlooked too much,” Mesa State coach Erin Sharpe said.

“With me coming in later in the game, I was looking for more JC players. I get contacted by a lot of kids, but I was looking for a forward.  I’ve had several (Division II) coaches say, ‘Where did you find her?’ She is fast and is very coachable and has a tremendous amount of potential. As good as she is now, she can only be greater the next couple of years.

“The difference-maker in this conference is fast forwards. Kayla (Mitchell) puts Mines in games. Regis has a player that has scored a majority of its goals. Dany is right there with them.”

Ramirez is leading the Mavericks in goals this season with seven, including four game-winners. The forward is ranked in the top 10 in the RMAC in three categories (sixth in points, fifth in goals and tied for first in game-winning goals).

Ramirez is right-handed, but is left-footed, giving the Mavericks a strong forward on the left side of the field.

“I grew up like that,” she said. “Now, I’m working on my right-foot shots. It helps being on the opposite side. I can cut back and shoot it with my left foot.”

Ramirez not only made her high school varsity as a freshman, she started. She started scoring goals regularly as a sophomore. As a junior and senior, she scored in double figures in goals.

After high school, Ramirez -planned to enrol at Mesa State, but didn’t plan on playing sports.

“My parents felt it would be a lot cheaper to go to a community college 43 minutes away (in Twin Falls, Idaho),” she said. “It is hard for me not to play sports. I didn’t expect to get this far.”

A good friend talked Ramirez into going to Dodge City (Kan.) Community College and playing soccer.

After a visit and a tryout, she received a scholarship.

Ramirez immediately earned a starting spot and helped the Conquistadors get off to an eight-game winning streak and eventually the junior college regional playoffs. She led the team in goals and won the team’s Golden Boot award for most goals.

After one year there, her coach left for another coaching job.

“Most of the girls on the team were talking about not coming back (for their sophomore year) at all,” Ramirez said.

She decided it was a good opportunity for her to find another program to challenge herself, but she said the school’s athletic director refused to release her to other junior college programs in the region.

Ramirez posted her recruiting form on the Internet and Sharpe noticed it.

“I was looking for one more forward and got her info online,” Sharpe said. “I did some research and noticed her accomplishments. I brought her out for a tryout and an official visit.”

Ramirez, who attended Mesa State basketball camps growing up, believes it was meant to be.

“I came here not knowing what to expect,” she said. “This was the first time I felt I might not start. I was actually nervous.”

She has nothing to be nervous about now.


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