‘It just feels right’: Mia Shalit is ready to give her all

Sac State women’s soccer goalkeeper has expectations of improving


Jordan Latimore

Junior Sac State women’s soccer goalkeeper Mia Shalit posing in front of The Eli And Edythe Broad Field House Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Shalit currently ranks second in saves under the Big Sky conference this season with 5.62 per game.

Myla Booth

Being a goalkeeper can be stressful and sometimes feels like all eyes are on you. Goalkeepers usually start the attack and it can be very tactical, according to women’s soccer goalkeeper Mia Shalit. 

Shalit found her niche in soccer at eight-years-old and has been playing ever since. She was born and raised in Chula Vista, California just a half hour outside of San Diego. 

Shalit had gotten citizenship through Peru to be able to play with the Peruvian Women’s National Soccer Team, since her mother is Peruvian. At the age of 13,  Shalit was called up by the team to try out. 

“As a goalkeeper, I don’t know; it just feels right,” Shalit said. 

Shalit first began to play with the 17-year-old age group in 2017 and 2018. At the age of 14, Shalit moved to the 20-year-old age group in 2020. 

Shalit said she was the youngest in the Sub-17s and one of the youngest in the Sub-20s. 

In early June, Shalit got a call-up to the full women’s national team. 

The Peruvian national team played against Mexico on June 25 and June 28— one of the best teams in the world, according to Shalit. 

“It was definitely huge for me,” Shalit said. “It was simply just one of the most incredible experiences.” 

Shalit got experience training with girls who played professionally around the world in many countries and continents. 

“Mia, having gone through working with the Peruvian national team this summer and just coming… very experienced, like an older player, she has those experiences that I think help her tremendously,” head coach Randy Dedini said.

Shalit attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before she transferred to Sac State. She said it was a difficult decision to transfer and leave the Runnin’ Rebels, but she wanted to find a place that would be a better fit. 

“Where I could grow as a player, a person,” Shalit said.  “And be able to find really good connections with players. I think that really went into my decision.”

Playing behind former goalkeeper Katie Price for most of the season last year, Shalit had to wait to get playing time when she transferred. Women’s soccer assistant coach Bernardo Silva said he thinks her experience at UNLV wasn’t the best when she transferred.

“I thought her confidence just wasn’t as high as it needed to be,” Silva said. 

Shalit said she feels soccer gives her a good way to be able to express herself. 

“I can’t speak for all goalkeepers when I say this, but for me…sometimes it feels like the game falls on your shoulders,” Shalit said.

Silva said Shalit demonstrates her abilities extremely well on the field despite the challenges of being a goalkeeper. 

“She’s a really good goalkeeper with her feet. Goalkeepers’ feet are probably one of their biggest weapons,” Silva said. “Mia’s ability to play out of the back, punch the ball, do cool kicks that go far and allow us to kind of start our attack.”

Dedini said Shalit’s mental aspect brings a sensible balance to her game.

“She’s very thoughtful and intelligent about how she plays and she also has that high level of accountability for herself,” Dedini said.  “She puts a lot of pressure on herself to make all the saves.” 

Sophomore midfielder Abigail Lopez, one of Shalit’s teammates, said Shalit is a great goalkeeper who makes incredible saves. 

“Mia is a very passionate person,” Lopez said. “She has a lot of passion and desire in what she does and it shows on and off the field. She is also a very good communicator” 

Off the soccer field, Shalit is still a student and a lot of her time is devoted to schoolwork whenever she is not on the field.

Shalit said for this season, she has expectations of improving on her strengths while also accomplishing team goals.

“Then as a team, getting to the [Big Sky] tournament at the end of the season and trying to win that would be huge,” Shalit said.