In David Zamora's first three full seasons at Cal Poly, he made either first or second All-Big West teams. He is one of five international players on the Cal Poly team. Ryan Sidarto – Mustang Daily.

From the earliest moments of his life, senior forward David Zamora was raised with a soccer ball at his feet. Born in Costa Rica, where soccer is the national sport, Zamora received a collection of soccer balls as his first gifts from family before he could even walk.

“Over there (soccer) is our main sport, so as soon as you can walk you start playing,” Zamora said. “I’ve always been way better with my feet than I am with my hands. (Soccer is) the sport I loved growing up, it’s the sport that I saw and I have a passion for the game.”

His biggest motivation to play came from the person he looks up to most in the world — his father.

David’s father, owner of Zamora’s family construction business, “Pedregal,” in Costa Rica, always encouraged him to play soccer and took him to practice at the park every Sunday.

“My father saw that I had talent and he supported me all the way to now,” Zamora said. “Even though he was always busy with projects that he was managing, he always made my games when I was in school. I really love those times when he was cheering me on from the stands and driving back to my house after the game and just talking about the game and how proud he was of me, and talking to me about plays I made. That memory sticks in my mind and I hold that in my heart.”

One of the most important things his father taught him, when the family business suffered after false accusations from the Costa Rican government, was to resist pessimism and persevere through adversity — something that stuck with Zamora.

After playing for his primary and secondary school soccer teams, Zamora had a chance to play for the reserve team for two of the biggest professional teams in Costa Rica: Saprissa and Alajuela. He tried to continue with his education in Costa Rica, but time conflicts forced him to choose between soccer and school; something Zamora could not do.

“Education was important because it gives you different perspectives and the tools to approach life and hopefully be successful,” Zamora said. “I always knew I wanted to study a degree and get a good education, but I also love sports so I was trying to do both.”

Zamora said he was relieved to not play on Costa Rican reserve teams. Even playing one minute of game time would make him ineligible to play any collegiate sports.

From his first moments donning the Mustangs’ soccer jersey, Zamora would hold a pivotal role in men’s soccer’s most recent success.

The first game of his freshman year in 2007 Zamora faced California in an exhibition match, and what would be one his proudest moments.

“I was really kind of anxious to play my first college game,” Zamora said. “The coach was telling me it was going to be really physical and something that I had never seen before. I was really very nervous.”

It didn’t take long for Zamora to become acclimated with his new team. He calmed his nerves and drew instant recognition of his soccer skills, scoring three goals en route to defeating Cal.

That game was the beginning of what would be a dominating career at Cal Poly for Zamora.

In his first three full seasons, Zamora has made first or second team All Big-West, while leading the team in points every year and scoring the most goals the last two seasons.

But despite his personal achievements, Zamora said the accomplishments he is most proud of have come with the team.

“Being part of a new program with Coach Holocher, we’ve been setting a lot of records with attendance, home winnings, being ranked freshman year in the top 10 in the nation,”  Zamora said. “It’s been setting records with the entire team and getting to seeing all the payoff for the work you’re putting in as a team.”

Head coach Paul Holocher, who entered his second year as coach when Zamora joined the team, appointed him team captain his senior year based on the skills he demonstrated.

“He brings a senior leadership to the team,” Holocher said. “He’s played a lot of games, a lot of tough college games, and produced some great goals in those times. Physically he’s a big strong player that has the ability to get on the end of crosses and the ability to hold the ball up for us and produce goals.”

Senior Junior Burgos said Zamora is a role model for the team.

“He’s a very responsible, disciplined person,” Burgos said. “He is usually the one that says every weekend that we need to take care of ourselves and take care of our school work. He makes sure that every single day we are doing the right thing and doing the things we are supposed to.”

In the little free time he gets away from soccer, Zamora enjoys being outdoors, especially at the beach or playing sand volleyball.

After he graduates, Zamora hopes to utilize either his soccer skills or business administration degree to play professionally or return home and help the family business.

But whether on or off the field, Zamora strives to achieve his highest potential, he said.

“Everything you do, you put in your maximum effort so you don’t have any regrets after it,” he said. “On the field, give 100 percent because if you don’t give it 100 percent after the game’s over — and the 90 minutes are gone — you start thinking about the play. ‘I should have done this, I should have done that.’ If you do your best, you don’t have anything to regret.”

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