ELLISVILLE – Sophomore forward Esmeralda Figueroa (Northeast Jones) fulfilled her dream of playing in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) on Thursday, signing a national letter of intent to play for head coach James Armstrong and Mississippi State University.
“Esmo goes above and beyond,” head coach Dolores Deasley said. “She is one of the most committed athletes I have ever worked with as far as preparing herself outside of the everyday team training. MSU is getting a great athlete and an even better person.”
The Laurel native scored 33 goals, five game-winners, and added 13 assists in her two seasons for 79 total points. She was named all-conference as a freshman and all-region as a sophomore.
A two-year team captain, Figueroa and the Bobcats won 26 games over the past two seasons with two south division titles and a MACJC/Region 23 Championship in 2018.
“She works so hard on her own when no one else is watching and is completely dedicated to being the best she can be,” Deasley continued. “Since I have known Esmo, it’s been her dream to play in the SEC. I’m so proud to play a very small role in helping her achieve that.”
Mississippi State is coming off one of its most successful seasons in program history. A year after making their first NCAA Tournament appearance, the Bulldogs reached the SEC Tournament for the first time in 15 years.