Girls’ Soccer Program Scores a Goal with New Coach Samantha Ezratty


Emma Haag

Growing up, social studies teacher and junior varsity girls’ soccer coach Samantha Ezratty has always wanted to teach kindergarten due to her love for kids. After volunteering with them, she said she realized that her love for history was something she wanted to pursue for the rest of her life as she was always involved in her high school’s student government, and it was the first place she learned to write.

Flashback to five years ago. Stadium lights flicker on and illuminate the Aliso Niguel High field as social studies teacher and junior varsity girls’ soccer coach Samantha Ezratty wove her way through the line of defenders on the turf field. 

Today, Ezratty can be found weaving her way through a line of brightly-colored cones, but this time, it is to demonstrate a new soccer drill to the young female soccer players at Portola High. 

When Ezratty learned that head girls’ varsity soccer coach Jeralyn Newton would be out on maternity leave, she immediately offered to step in and assist the program. Despite being new to the school, she was no stranger to the intricacies of soccer. 

Ever since she was 4 years old, Ezratty participated in soccer by playing on local club teams, influenced by her dad’s immense passion for the sport. 

“My dad was my coach for almost the entirety of my childhood,” Ezratty said. “He was a great coach and really shielded me away from a lot of the competitiveness and kind of the cutthroat nature that soccer can become.” 

Ezratty continued to foster her passion for the sport as a collegiate athlete for Chico State University. Participating in college sports cultivated a perspective that was different from her high school teammates. 

“High school soccer is more fun than college,” Ezratty said. “College soccer is much more competitive. And I actually stopped playing at one point when I got injured, but it was just so hard to manage and to be that competitive.” 

Using her background in collegiate sports, Ezratty hopes to be a mentor for students who hope to pursue the recruitment process.

“I’m excited to kind of guide people through that process because there’s no set plan for how you should go about it,” Ezratty said. “And there’s a lot of things that I learned through the process that, you know, I wish I would have had someone to tell me and walk me through it.”

As a coach, Ezratty has been given the opportunity to mentor her girls and share the advice of her playing days.

“Naturally, every coach comes in with a different view of the game,” defense and senior Celine Aoki said. “She brings a new dynamic to the game and different focuses to the entire team, which is always refreshing.” 

Center-mid and junior Amber Lee witnessed Ezratty’s mentorship as both a coach and a teacher. 

“Not only is she a good teacher; she is also a fun coach. She always listens to what I want to do,” Lee said. “I first met her as a psychology teacher and was really happy to have her and later realized she was my soccer coach. I can see two different sides of her. I can see her as my teacher, but also a fun soccer girl. I love Coach Ezratty and Ms. Ezratty.” 

After a year and half of being in quarantine and not having soccer as a major part of her life, Ezratty reflected on the impact of soccer as a creative outlet. 

“We all have to use creativity in one way or the other,” Ezratty said. “And I think pent-up creativity that doesn’t get utilized can be just negative and harmful for people. And so for me, I’m not really artistic, and I don’t draw, and I don’t paint, and I don’t do those kinds of things. And so I’ve kind of really discovered that soccer is my form of creativity and just having the ball at my feet with no set plan.”