Tough times don’t last; tough girls do : SRJC student takes soccer talents to Sonoma State University


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Holle Depina dribbles the ball in a game during the 2015 season. She was part of an SRJC soccer team that completed an undefeated regular season and finished 19-1-4 overall. Depina faced adversity throughout her life, but that didn’t stop her from her goal of playing at a university.

Kiana Medina , Staff Writer

Dedication, determination and passion are key to Santa Rosa Junior College student Holle Depina’s goal of playing soccer at a four-year college.

Depina, 21, will attend Sonoma State University this fall on a full-ride athletic scholarship. She’s currently taking off-season soccer training classes at SRJC to stay in shape for her time at SSU.

A committed SRJC student since 2012, Depina recently received her associate degree in communications in fall 2015.

Achieving her associate degree hasn’t been easy for Depina. She struggled with injuries and sickness that not only kept her from school, but off the field as well.

“I tore my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] in 2015, and the year before that I had mono [mononucleosis],” Depina said. “I was coming off a concussion during the first round of playoffs last semester; nobody wants to miss playoffs.”

Fortunately for Depina, she played in the third round of playoffs and scored a game-tying goal with only three seconds left on the clock.

“We went on and actually won that game in OT,” Depina said.

According to SRJC women’s head soccer coach Crystal Howard, that playoff game was one of Depina’s greatest highlights during the last season of her SRJC soccer career.

Howard describes Depina as a leader, both on and off the field. She’s delighted Depina is transferring to SSU.

“It’s exciting to be a part of [Depina’s achievement],” Howard said. “Holle is one of my first players to go on to a four-year.”

Howard’s first year as a head coach at SRJC was last season. Ironically, she is an SSU alumni and came from SSU as an assistant coach.

“She slid right into the leadership role,” Howard said about Depina. “She leads by example and is the person off-the-field players feel comfortable talking to.”

Playing soccer since the age of six, Depina hasn’t lost her passion for the game and has stayed positive throughout the hardships she’s faced.

“My family, my friends and my teammates all encouraged me to be positive,” Depina said. “I was really thankful for that.”

With an important and inspiring support system in her corner, Depina has excelled throughout her soccer career thus far with an outgoing and upbeat attitude.

Depina describes her time at SRJC as “incredible,” and is looking forward to what the future has in store for her.

“I want to go into marketing,” Depina said. “I really want to travel the world and I think marketing and selling products will allow me to do that.”

Depina is also interested in the sports media world and is considering sports broadcasting.

Off the field, Depina hopes to achieve her goals at SSU and is excited to start her new journey.

“The goal for me is definitely getting my master’s,” she said.