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The risk that paid off for senior forward Tori Bolden

With a frustrating freshmen season at Cal, she transferred to LBSU to save her athletic career.

Senior+forward+Tori+Bolden+is+ready+to+take+LBSU+to+new+heights+in+her+final+season.
Senior forward Tori Bolden is ready to take LBSU to new heights in her final season.

Senior forward Tori Bolden is ready to take LBSU to new heights in her final season.

Marck Parra

Marck Parra

Senior forward Tori Bolden is ready to take LBSU to new heights in her final season.

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When senior forward Tori Bolden decided to transfer from Cal Berkeley to Long Beach State during her sophomore year, she knew she was taking a risk — a risk her athletic career desperately needed.

At Cal, Bolden only managed a total of 207 minutes during her lone season with the women’s soccer team, but was hungry for more. She saw the perfect opportunity to grow as a person both on and off the field with LBSU.

“Berkeley just wasn’t a good fit for me,” Bolden said, “And after talking with [head coach] Mauricio [Ingrassia], I just felt like this was a better place for me to grow as a player — and it was closer to home.”

Now, as an integral part of Ingrassia’s team, Bolden is ready to cement herself as one of the true leaders of the squad and take the 49ers to impressive new heights. But before she ever graced LBSU with her talents, Bolden was torn at an early age between playing soccer and running track and field.

”I come from a track background, but I started playing pee-wee soccer around the age of four,” Bolden said.”I just ended up liking it more than track.”

Bolden grew up in Rancho Cucamonga with a household full of athletes. Her mother Zelda was a track and field star at Mt. San Antonio College, where she broke several community college records that stand today.

Her brother Victor is a standout football player who first made a name for himself at the wide receiver position at Oregon State. After a successful tenure at the school, Victor was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL as an undrafted free agent.

Bolden said regardless of many individual athletic personalities living under one roof, athletic tension never arose at the household.

“Honestly people ask me that all the time [if there was a lot of competition at home],” Bolden laughs. “We all got along so well.”

During her teenage years at Los Osos High School, Bolden started to  stand out on the soccer pitch and attracted the attention of the U.S. women’s soccer under-18 team.

With all of this valuable experience at her disposal, LBSU is reaping the benefits of her talents — and head coach Ingrassia knows this.

“Tori is doing what a senior should be doing,” Ingrassia said. “She is leading the team on the field and off the field, and I’m very proud of her.”

Life after LBSU is still a mystery for Bolden, who is unsure whether she will continue to play soccer or not. But for now, she is solely concentrating on the team, graduating and pursuing a career in sports broadcasting.

“I actually want to do something like sports broadcasting after graduating,” Bolden said. “I’m not sure if I want to keep continuing playing soccer after here, but we’ll see.”

Whether she will hang up her cleats up at the end of the season or not, Ingrassia is positive she’ll make the most out of this season for the betterment of the team.

“She’s got her spark [this season], so as long as she manages it and we keep her fresh, she can be a threat,” Ingrassia said.

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