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Lara's road less traveled

Lara's road less traveled

Monday September 12, 2011 - Heat's Lara making a name for himself

By Clara Sandoval
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Monday, September 12, 2011 1:14 AM CDT
Frank Lara comes from a soccer powerhouse high school that has been a force in the district since opening its doors in 2001.

When Lara was set to graduate from Lyndon B. Johnson and the time came to make a decision to see where he would take his soccer talents, he choose a path less traveled.

Lara was inspired to take his abilities all the way to the Eastern seaboard to Southern Connecticut State University because of his mother, Maria de Lourdes.

As a young woman from a small town in Mexico, Maria de Lourdes had the courage to go to the big city of Guadalajara to study.

When he was faced with a similar situation after high school, Lara decided to go against the norm and take his game to Southern Connecticut State.

“I always remember that courage that my mother had and that has always been a source of inspiration for me,” Lara said.

“When I had the opportunity to play at Southern Connecticut State University, I took it.”

Lara is now in the mist of his junior year suiting up for the Owls and his grand goal for the season includes winning a national championship.

Last year, the Owls made a trip deep into the NCAA Division II playoffs that ended in the round of the Sweet 16.

“That (a national championship) is what we want to accomplish this year,” Lara said.

“We went all the way into the Sweet 16 and now it’s time to take that extra step.”

Lara also hopes to rely on the two years of experience he has under his belt as a member of the Owls.

Now an upperclassman, Lara is helping bring along the underclassmen.

“When I was a freshman, I hesitated a little; now I have more confidence,” he said.

“I was able to come along because of the upperclassman.

Now I am an upperclassman and show the youngsters the way.

“When we were in those shoes, the upperclassmen helped us out.”

Lara also hopes to utilize the valuable experience he gained playing for the Laredo Heat this past summer when the team made it all the way to the national championship game in the Premier Development League.

The Heat lost that match, but the experience left a thirst in Lara that he hopes he can quench with the Owls this season.

“That is what I want to accomplish before I leave Southern Connecticut State,” Lara said.

“Playing for the Laredo Heat opened my eyes to the possibilities that can be accomplished with a lot of hard work.”

Lara is also vying to come into this season healthy and ready to play after spending the majority of last year’s season injured and out of competition.

“Being injured was the worst feeling ever,” he said.

“I could not physically go out there and help the team.

The only thing that I could do was support my team from the sidelines.

“I lost a year of playing.”

Lara only made 13 appearances and five starts.

He totaled seven shots and registered one point via an assist.

“Being healthy is a blessing,” Lara said. “People take that for granted.

“This year, I am just happy that I am healthy and playing out there on the field.”