High Expectations


(Courtesy of Yuna McCormack)

By Juliette Lunder, Lifestyles Editor, Graphics Editor

Yuna McCormack first began contact with Division One schools in middle school after her coach gave her a list of universities that were interested in recruiting her. “It was an eye-opening moment for me in that all of my hard work was paying off and had led me to this moment that I had never really planned for,” McCormack said.

The Tamalpais High School junior is a star member of the U.S. Youth National Team, Bay Area Surf club soccer team, and the Tam varsity soccer team. Her primary position is attacking midfielder. This season on the Tam team, she was the fourth highest scorer in the MCAL league with 15 goals scored and eight assists in the 2021-2022 season alone. 

Soccer has always been a vital part of McCormack’s life since the early age of four, she found a passion for the sport. McCormack didn’t begin playing competitive soccer until she was seven because she was experimenting with other sports, such as running, swimming, and basketball. 

Not only is she an asset to the team on the field, McCormack also brings a positive attitude and good energy to every team activity, according to her teammates. “Yuna is always very spirited and she is a great team player,” Stella Espinasse, a teammate of two years, said. 

On average, McCormack dedicates her time to playing soccer between 14 and 21 hours a week for the Tam team; additionally, she spends more hours training for the national team. “She is probably the best athlete to come out of Marin in a long time, but she never brags about it. Instead, she continues to work hard and pushes other athletes to do the same,” Ariana Greenberg, a fellow teammate said. 

Even with a jam-packed sports schedule, McCormack continues to do well in her classes. Although McCormack said her rigorous schedule doesn’t negatively impact her grades, soccer training does not allow much free time. Soccer is her priority and she often has to find ways to work around her busy agenda in order to fulfill all of her other responsibilities. 

“Missing weeks of school for soccer is also stressful because of all of the work I have to catch up on,” she said. “I have high expectations for myself and maintaining my grades is important to college.”

McCormack verbally committed to the University of Virginia in October last year, where she plans to continue her soccer career. “To get to where I am now has taken a lot of work and dedication. I’ve dealt with many obstacles including injuries and my limits have been tested in the most competitive and challenging environments,” McCormack said. 

This amazing opportunity has allowed her to graduate a semester early and she will leave for the University of Virginia earlier than the rest of her class. Although she has already made this large decision, she still plans to enjoy the time she has left at Tam. McCormack is confident that the future will bring more instances to improve her soccer capabilities and create bonds with her fellow teammates.  

After college, McCormack hopes to play on the national team and represent the United States in the Olympics and the FIFA World Cups. “I still have a lot to prove and my journey will only get more competitive from now,” McCormack said. “In my future endeavors, I will carry these qualities with me as I strive to reach my goals and become the best version of myself.”