She currently patrols the soccer field, but Samantha Fagerburg dreams of one day patrolling the streets.
For most of her life Fagerburg, 19, has talked about being a cop.
“I just can’t imagine doing anything else,” Fagerburg said. “There is no other option.”
According to Head Coach Adolfo Perez, Fagerburg had been set to come to Pierce in 2015, but a visit to her high school by three Army recruiters changed those plans.
“They were talking about how war is good and war is bad,” Fagerburg said. “I wanted to talk to them more just to see if there was any possibility that I wanted to join.”
Recognizing the benefits of a military background to achieve her dream of becoming a police officer, Fagerburg enlisted in the Army, joining the Military Police. She was soon stationed as a prison guard at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, what she describes as a “rough job.”
Fagerburg was honorably discharged due to an injury after serving only one year of the six she was contracted. While she had wanted to serve out her entire enlistment, her early dismissal is Pierce’s gain.
“She brings a physical presence,” Perez said. “Something we haven’t had the last couple years. She brings tremendous strength to the backline.”
Since her return, Fagerburg has started going on ride-alongs with the Oxnard Police Department, as well as shadowing the Orange County District Attorney’s Chief of Staff. In two years she may even have an internship with the US Marshals through Northern Arizona University she says. Fagerburg plans on majoring in sociology with a minor in criminal justice, in pursuit of her ultimate goal to be a detective in the LAPD Major Crimes Division.
While she enjoys the game, soccer is not necessarily in Fagerburg’s future plans, despite Perez’s strong feelings that she is fit to be a four-year school player.
“I’m not looking to play at a four-year [school],” Fagerburg explained, “but if there’s a good enough offer then I might consider it.”
Fagerberg started playing soccer at the age of six, but things almost ended there before they really had a chance to begin.
“My first team wasn’t very good,” Fagerburg said. “So my mom had to talk me into trying another season. We had a really good second season, and then I was recruited to play for the A team in club my third year. I’ve been playing ever since.”
Perez can see the influence Fagerburg’s military training has had on her discipline out on the field, and so do her teammates.
“I can depend on her a lot,” co-captain Sara Hernandez said. “I know she has my back 100 percent.”
Athletics are in Fagerburg’s blood. Two of her grandparents were professional tennis players. She grew up playing tennis as well as club basketball on top of soccer.