The key to beating the competition is to outwork it. So says Mia Corbin.
Whether she is drilling soccer balls into the goal as Tahoma High School’s star midfielder or focusing on a challenging course load to prepare for attending one of the nation’s top public universities, Corbin is always thinking about how to better herself.
“I love the atmosphere,” said Corbin, who has given a verbal commitment to play soccer at the University of California at Berkeley. “Wanting to be better by pushing your mind and your physical abilities.
“When you’re about to faint — that’s when you get better.”
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That is what Corbin has done since she first stepped onto the soccer field at age 6. In addition to competing for Tahoma and her Crossfire Premier club team, she also played on the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team this fall.
“I love it,” she said. “It’s a lot of running, but I always want to be on the ball.”
Her commitment means there are many nights where she isn’t done playing until after 9 p.m. But that’s where she feels at home — and what she hopes will lead to her dream of playing professional soccer.
“Under the lights,” she said, “there’s nothing better than that.”
She leads Tahoma in both goals and assists with 11 apiece, but Corbin isn’t concerned with her personal performance. Her goal is to have success in the upcoming playoffs.
“It’s not really about scoring,” she said. “It’s about winning games. I want to get far — I want to bring home a trophy for the Bears.”
Tahoma coach Alyssa Hurt said Corbin’s strength is her ability to read the game.
“She knows when she needs to lay it off — the way she can distribute to someone is unbelievable,” she said. “But then her shot is also pretty impressive.”
Soccer isn’t the only sport she excels in. Corbin was named the South Puget Sound League’s 2015 softball player of the year. Staying at the top of two sports means there’s little time to slack off or slow down.
And that’s OK with her.
“Senior year, you gotta go all out,” she said. “When you have some weak moments, you have to push through it.”
In turn, Corbin has high standards for those around her.
“She’s feisty,” Hurt said. “She’s demanding not only of herself, but of her teammates on the field.”
Senior goalkeeper Hadley Bezon said that watching Corbin’s progression has made her a better player, too.
“Being able to experience that high level of play has helped me grow,” she said. “She shoots off me and it works her out and works me out. We spend time together to make each other better, and it’s been a blast.”
Corbin, who has a 3.96 grade-point average, plans to study kinesiology at California.
But first, she would like to see the Bears win it all. The “unbelievable” feeling is something she experienced as Tahoma won its first-ever softball championship last spring.
“Six months later, I still can’t believe it even though I have a state ring,” said Corbin, who starts at center field and also plays for a Washington Acers premier team. “No way. You don’t do that in everyday life.”
But she is also realistic about the fact that the road to the state soccer tournament is a long one.
“We’re taking it one game at a time,” she said. “We know we have to come out and bring it. Otherwise, we’ll go home.”