Before mathematics teacher Fernando Carasusan came to MAST Academy, he used to double as a girls’ soccer coach while working at Miami Jackson Senior High School.
Carasusan began coaching at Jackson in 1999. He recalls how most of the girls there did not have many opportunities.
Many of them had parents who were always working, or had jobs themselves, and they would have to take care of their younger siblings after school.
Some also had to deal with parents who were not supportive of their involvement in the sport.
Despite all this, Carasusan remembers all the times his team was able to beat the odds against them.
One of his fondest memories is of the year that his team went against Hialeah High School in the District Semi-Finals.
“The games were back to back so many of our players had to play full games and it was tough for them, but they ended up winning 4-2 in penalty shots,” Carasusan said.
Carasusan fondly remembers his time with the Jackson girls’ soccer team.
“It was just such a happy group. [Soccer] was just a place for them to escape their problems, and no one could prevent them from being the best they could be. On the field they knew what they could and couldn’t do and they were free,” Carasusan said.