Tiffany Torres Bears Down For Success At POLA High
Tiffany Torres has been quite the fixture at POLA High School and has lettered in four sports, but soccer is the sport she has shined in the most. (photo: Jamaal K. Street)
Port of Los Angeles High School has only had five full years of competing in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section playoffs for sports since the San Pedro-based charter school has been in existence. When they decide to make their own Athletic Hall of Fame just like their bigger counterpart at San Pedro High has done recently, one name on the first ballot should be girls soccer senior midfielder/forward, Tiffany Torres.
Torres has already accomplished a lot in her four years at POLAHS as she makes her final push for a CIF-LACS soccer championship, such as two City titles in softball and two City final appearances in soccer, while also lettering in volleyball for two years, cross-country for one, and maintaining her excellent work in the classroom, which is exactly what the classifications of a ‘student athlete’ should entail.
“Tiffany is a very strong and motivational leader who really cares about the team,” says fellow senior teammate, defender Samantha Walker, one of Torres’ best friends. “We get along really well and she is an amazing person.”
Most young girls on prep soccer teams only join a team because it’s something for them to stay active, others because they love the sport, Torres is a combination of both. She got an early start to soccer at age 4, and she has ran with it ever since. Torres’ life took a bad turn in 2007 when her father, Gabriel Torres, passed away.
“Losing my father was, and is still indescribable,” Torres says. “The void will never be filled but everything I do is for him.”
In Tiffany’s first two years at POLA, she has had the honor of playing alongside her older sister Stephanie, and together, the Polar Bears have reached back-to-back CIF-LACS Division III finals in 2012 and 2013.
“I think I took it for granted because I do miss playing with Stephanie,” Torres said of playing on the same team as her sister. “But having her beside me was cool because she always had my back.”
In her four years of soccer at POLA, Torres has scored 40 goals and assisted on 27 more, with her senior year being her best one yet, as she currently paces the five-time Crosstown League champion Polar Bears (21-2-1 overall) with 19 goals and 19 assists.
Torres is notorious for her clutch moments too, as she has scored game-winning goals against St. Monica, Bright Star and Foshay Learning Center, while assisting on another game-winner against Community Charter. Torres also blasted home a game-winning goal against St. Anthony of Long Beach during her junior season in 2014.
There are two moments in Tiffany’s career at POLA that have stood out the most, one of which being her shot against Fulton College Prep in the 2013 CIF-LACS Division III semifinals.
Taking a pass from Melissa Rodriguez, Torres took a mighty swing with her right foot and the ball sailed perfectly over the Fulton goalie’s outstretched arms into the top-center of the goal, swishing the net to cap off the Polar Bears’ convincing 4-1 victory that earned them their second straight finals berth.
“It was an amazing combination,” Torres recalls of her magnificent day in which she scored twice. “And to have the perfect placement on that goal was like the cherry on top.”
The other moment Torres has enjoyed thus far involves her not scoring at all.
Down a goal with five minutes left against arch-nemesis Los Angeles CES in the Valley Invitational Tournament on January 10, Torres would send a long pass over to Walker, who then powered a curved shot into the left-corner of the net for a dramatic 1-1 tie that eventually gave POLA the Valley Invitational title based on points for the Division II teams that competed.
Torres rushing over to hug her best friend in her moment of glory is what made that goal special for the both of them. Torres and Walker are part of the fantastic foursome of best friends that all came together because of their time at POLA, alongside fellow four-year seniors Ariella Martinez and Torres’ fellow co-captain, Isabela Van Antwerp.
“Tiffany has done an excellent job in stepping up and getting things done for POLA,” Martinez says. “Her leadership skills are amazing and she has always put the team first.”
Finishing with a 3.8 GPA in the fall semester, Torres has several colleges she is interested in mainly for academic purposes, including UCLA and Long Beach State. Since she has lettered in so many sports in her time, Torres shares two key pieces of advice for all young athletes pursuing sports and wanting to stay healthy and active.
“Drink tons of water and eat a lot of fruit,” Torres says.
Torres and POLA, currently the top seed of the CIF-LACS Division IV playoffs, will host Legacy of South Gate on Tuesday, 3 p.m. at the Field of Dreams in the semifinals.