Transfer student Montemor racking up goals for Panthers

Junior Anna Montemor transferred to Chapman at the beginning of the season and has made an immediate impact on the field, establishing herself as women soccer’s leading scorer. Photo by Kali Hoffman, photo editor

Minute two. Minute 12. Minute 47.

At each of these timestamps in Chapman’s 5-1 victory over California Institute of Technology on Oct. 19, Anna Montemor struck. With each follow-through of her foot, the ball hit the back of the soccer net. In securing a hat trick – three goals in just one game – Montemor, as women soccer’s leading scorer, netted her fifth, sixth and seventh goals of the season.

With such success, it may come as a surprise to know that this is just Montemor’s first year at Chapman as a transfer student. Although she’s new to the program, her success on the field has followed her throughout her collegiate career. A junior broadcast journalism and documentary major, she spent her freshman and sophomore seasons at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California, where she received a scholarship to play soccer. During her time there, she was a 2017 Golden State Athletic Conference All-League selectee.

But even with the athletic success she saw at Vanguard, the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman was always in the back of her mind. Following her mother’s encouragement, she began the process to transfer between universities last December. The following January, she was admitted.

“My mom said, ‘You should just see if you can get into Dodge,’ because I really wanted to come here for broadcasting,” Montemor said. “That was always the dream.”

As both a junior in college and first-year player at Chapman, Montemor began this season between the traditional freshman’s profile and a veteran upperclassmen. Although assimilating into a new team can be difficult regardless of context, Montemor faced an early-season rut on the field that made her transition only more difficult.

“At the beginning of the season, I’d hit the crossbar all the time and could not finish. I started overthinking like, ‘Oh my gosh, if I can’t score then why am I a forward?’” she said.

Yet Montemor quickly sorted her headspace out and got back to the level of success she’d enjoyed previously.

“As soon as I dropped that and went out and just played, I started scoring again – just getting out of your own head and thinking all of the work you put in is going to show,” she said.

Having come in as a transfer, it took time for Montemor to get to know everyone on the team. However, after an early-season team trip to Oregon, she became closer to other members.

“That was the best bonding experience,” Montemor said. “It was nice to see people out of their element – that really brought us together.”

Freshman forward Dani Berch said she admired Montemor’s work ethic; the two have become fast friends as newcomers to the program. In the process, the elder has acted as a mentor to Berch.

“The hardest part is the mental aspect, so she’s helped a lot with that – motivating me and helping me off the field,” Berch said. “If I’m having a hard time, she tells me that things are going to be OK and that’s the best thing to hear sometimes.”

Nowadays, Montemor steps onto the pitch at Wilson Field with more confidence. Head coach Courtney Calderon praised her work ethic and positive attitude – a player that can single-handedly push her team to success.

“She’s super dangerous with the ball at her feet. She comes in and plays quite a few minutes for us with no complaints, just constantly working,” Calderon said. “She pushes the team by her work ethic and her leadership.”