Who would give up Cancun’s sunshine, beaches and tropical weather for Moorhead’s decreasing daylight, below-zero temperatures and heaps of snow? Why would someone endure such a drastic change?
Melissa Guerrero is a Cancun, Mexico, native who is pursuing an education in the United States. Guerrero is a sophomore at MSUM who plays on the women’s soccer team.
Before coming to MSUM, Guerrero studied and played soccer at Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga. She decided to transfer after one year at TTU to MSUM.
“Both of my parents had always supported me,” she said. “I always wanted to study in the states, at least for one year, so they were kind of expecting it. When I told them about this opportunity they were really happy for me, so they encouraged me to follow my dream.”
Guerrero’s teammates have been very helpful. Some teammates showed her around campus, some helped her with conditioning before the season began and some helped her during practice.
As she relocated from Cancun to Moorhead, Guerrero had a lot of assistance from Sienna Rebollozo. Both Rebollozo and Guerrero are Latina and come from warmer environments. Rebollozo is originally from Dallas and experienced and survived her first Moorhead winter last year.
“I survived by having layers and layers of clothes, but the middle of November is when I finally got smart and purchased appropriate winter clothes,” Rebollozo said. “My advice would be to purchase winter clothes ahead of time. Do not wait at the last minute.”
Guerrero is not the only soccer player who is preparing for her first Minnesota winter. Lana Laudermilch is a freshman from Las Vegas.
“It usually snows once a year in Vegas during the winter,” she said. “Sometimes the snow sticks, but most of the times it doesn’t. I plan to have my mom buy me a ton of sweatpants and ship them over. My roommate is going to take me to buy an actual winter coat, hats, mittens and boots.”
Guerrero and Laudermilch know they are both out of their element of high temperatures and sunshine, but they have a full soccer team to support them and help them through the winter.
“It is going to be a huge change, but all I have to do is adjust,” Guerrero said.
The Dragons will take on St. Cloud State in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action at 1 p.m. on Sunday and return home to host Minot State University at 1 p.m. on Nov. 3 in their regular season finale. The Dragons will then play in the NSIC tournament starting Nov. 6.
BY CARA ZASTROW