Cathedral Catholic happy to have two-sport star Aragon healthy

Sophia Aragon of Cathedral Catholic.
(Peter Dunsford)

Sophia Aragon missed time due to appendectomy but is back helping soccer, track teams


Coming off a junior soccer season that included winning the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship and being named section player of the year, Sophia Aragon was primed for a stellar senior season at Cathedral Catholic High.

In the age of coronavirus, nothing can be taken for granted.

After just the Dons’ second game against Torrey Pines this season, she felt stomach pain. It was enough to notice but not stop playing.

But the pain persisted.

At halftime against Torrey Pines, she took herself out of the game and went to the hospital with what turned out to be appendicitis.

“What a way to cap off senior year with COVID around,” Aragon said, laughing. “My dad and my brother have had their appendix out, so we know what the symptoms are.

“I knew what it was before we got to the hospital. The doctors didn’t think it was what it was.”

Aragon missed three games during her two-week rehab from surgery.

“No games, no practices of any kind,” she said. “I hated it.”

The Dons are now intact again with their center midfielder back on the field during a 5-0-3 start after winning once and drawing twice during her absence.

As a junior, Aragon collected 14 goals and 17 assists, including two assists in the Open Division final against Carlsbad in a 3-1 victory. Cathedral finished with a 23-3-3 record.

“She was hard to miss right off the bat,” Dons coach Dawn Lee said. “Each year she has become an integral player and a better leader.

“She was ready made that way when she got here, but the good thing is she continues to get better.”

Not only did the 5-foot-8 Aragon lose time on the soccer pitch, she also missed time on the track team.

The 200- and 400-meter runner who also runs a leg of the 400 relay and the 1,600 relay was prohibited from all running after surgery.

“Having no track last spring was hard,” the resident of Escondido said of last year’s COVID-canceled season. “When you play multiple sports, you learn how to get all your schoolwork done and show up for practice at the right time.”

Aragon is also playing now for SoCal Blues in Irvine, her travel ball soccer team.

While her time in track is limited to this spring, Aragon could well spend some time running track next season in college as well as playing soccer.

Aragon is headed to Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference.

“I have no family down there,” said Aragon, the youngest of four siblings. “I will be kind of on my own. I wanted something completely different than what I have here.

“I’m ready. I’ve been dreaming about this for a long time, but it was hard to tell my mom I was leaving home.”

Arkansas was not her favorite going into the recruiting process.

“I never planned on Arkansas,” she said. “I actually thought it was pronounced Ar-Kansas, but the recruiting trip to Fayetteville, a college town, won me over.

“It had everything I was looking for when I decided I wanted out of California for a while. It just felt like the right place.”

Aragon plans to major in journalism with an eye toward becoming a broadcaster.

Or she might make a career working behind the camera instead of in front of it.

“I wish I could take my friends with me to Arkansas, but that’s why I wanted to start fresh,” Aragon said. “I will miss the Cathedral community.”

The part-time surfer already has been asked some interesting questions in her brief time in Arkansas.

“My Arkansas teammates can’t believe someone from California would come there,” Aragon said. “They always ask me if I know anyone famous.”

Just last year’s CIF player of the year.

Monahan is a freelance writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune.