Daniela Cruz Mejia

Professional Soccer Player, Saprissa Fútbol Feminino Costa Rica Women’s National Team

Cruz plays defender and midfielder for Saprissa Fútbol Feminino and the Costa Rica Women’s National Team, which made history in 2015 when the team competed in the country’s first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. She has also played professionally in Serbia and has over 33 international appearances.

What drives you to perform at such a high level?

The love I have for the game and being a perseverant person drives me. I give my best in every practice and I always try to improve each day. Every time that a door closes, I see it as a challenge and not as an obstacle. We will always have adversities in life. We are not in control of these situations, but we do have control over how to face these adversities.

Besides competing, what are your plans for the future?

I’m head coach for the U13 and U15 teams of Saprissa women’s soccer. I’m also studying Portuguese. After I finish my career as a player, I would like to get a master’s degree, and I want to keep studying and preparing myself as a coach. I also would like to open a coffee shop in Costa Rica and take a volunteering trip.

How would you describe your time at UWF?

I grew up so much in those four years. I was a completely different person when I first came to UWF to when I graduated. I will be forever grateful for the time I had at UWF and even more grateful for the people I met during my time as a student-athlete.