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Division I prospect chooses to stay home and lead by example
Rayana signs to Stanislaus
Rayana Plancarte
Pitmans Rayana Plancarte recently signed her letter of intent to play collegiate soccer at California State University, Stanislaus. - photo by Photo Contributed

If you ask any scout or coach in the area that has watched or observed Pitman's Rayana Plancarte they will confirm that she is a Division I prospect.

The women's soccer program at Cal State Stanislaus is more than lucky to have her join the program that has already made waves through the nation at the Division II level.

On Thursday, Plancarte made it official as she joined an already solid core of local players after signing her letter of intent to become the next Turlock baller to stay at home and become a lady Warrior and she said it was for various reasons but attributes the proximity to be a high priority.

“I want to contribute to the team and our community in any way possible by getting them involved,” she said. “I want to give the community a reason to come watch Stanislaus soccer, that's why I am there, I really want to make a difference when I get on the pitch and change the game completely.”

“I wasn't ready to leave yet. I could have gone anywhere if I wanted to but putting in that time and effort then leaving and not seeing my parents or family, well I wanted to stay to show friends, family and people in the area it is possible to excel. Plus there's nothing like having all them to support me.”

Stanislaus women's head coach Gabe Bolton is aware of the talent he is amassing, especially since he lost one of the nation's top players and the school’s top scorer in Karenee Demery.

Since then, Bolton's teams have become better overall and with the addition of Plancarte, who can score often, the possibilities seem endless.

Since the age of four, Plancarte knew she was made for the sport of soccer. She started to play travel ball at the age of eight but before that Plancarte would spend countless hours perfecting her moves with her father since she can remember.

“I would do at least 1,000 touch passes with my dad before we got to do anything fun or any drills. My dad has always been on me but we both made sure I got the extra training as well,” she said. “Like technical, speed, shooting... well I have done all sorts of training.”

The lady Pride who has played all three years at varsity leading up to her senior year has been one of the most electrifying and without question the best scorer in the Central California Conference over her current three-year stint.

“I had to miss holidays, birthday parties, family gatherings and hanging out with friends, little social things or just hanging out,” said Plancarte. “I was so focused and determined on what I wanted to achieve and needed to balance it out and think of my future.”

While at Pitman, Plancarte has amassed nearly 53 goals and is 11 away from breaking the school record of 63, which is what she is striving for.

“It’s a pretty good feeling that all the hard work and sacrifices I made to achieve this goal paid off,” said Plancarte who is the first member of her family to achieve a scholarship.

Plancarte, who was born to a 16-year-old mother at the time, Alejandra Galvan, has been highly supported by both parents as well as her entire family, being the first and eldest grandchild of her family to achieve an athletic scholarship.

“My cousins and family, they all look up to me and anything I do being the oldest, it affected everyone in the future so I wanted to set a high standard and send a message,” she said. “If they really want something that bad they can get it and whatever they want to achieve they can do it by working hard.”

Before embarking on her college campaign, Plancarte hopes to finish her final year at Pitman on a high note after already training for the new season ahead.

“I set goals since freshman that I will break Pitman's scoring record,” Plancarte added. “In order to do that I want to finish my senior year on a high note so I have to finish it. I’ve been out there every day pretty much, and I am confident in our girls but we obviously have work to do.”

The lady Pride will have their first game at home, which is scheduled against Modesto High at a time yet to be determined on Feb. 26.