Gallagher’s journey

Years of hard work lands her at UC Davis.


Nichol Gallagher

Holly Gallagher reveals that she will continue her collegiate soccer career at UC Davis, a Division-1 athletics school.

Erick Amaya, Staff Writer

After completing her two-years of playing eligibility with Los Medanos Women’s Soccer, Holly Gallagher will continue her collegiate soccer career at UC Davis. Gallagher committed to play for the Aggies after a stand-out performance at the Junior College Sophomore Showcase. 

Though all seems like a walk in the park, Gallagher admits that she had doubts about her soccer career.

Gallagher began playing sports at the age of seven and decided to play soccer because of the physicality that the sport brings. She started playing in her local American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) league, and began playing club soccer with Diablo Football Club between the ages of nine and 10. 

Gallagher considers herself a versatile player, but playing defense gives her the thrill of denying the opposition from scoring a goal. 

“I’m not afraid to knock anybody down, and [defending] brings a very rewarding feeling,” she said. 

Gallagher went on to play high school soccer for Clayton Valley Charter High School. Her freshman year, Gallagher formed part of the junior varsity team, and played for the varsity team during her sophomore and senior years. She was named Diablo Athletic League (DAL) MVP during her senior season.  

During her junior year she focused on college recruitment, which led her to be scouted by the California State University Chico Women’s Soccer program. 

“I ended up not going to Chico, and that was super hard on me, I felt that I disappointed a lot of people, and let myself down,” said Gallagher. 

After turning down her offer at Chico State, Gallagher believed that her soccer journey ended after her senior year and final season of club soccer, but that was not the case. 

“My life [didn’t] feel right without playing soccer because I had been doing it for so long,” she said, which led her to play for LMC. “I had the opportunity to keep doing it for at least two years, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.” 

During her two years pioneering the Mustang defense, Gallagher and the LMC Women’s Soccer program achieved back-to-back Bay Valley Conference championships. 

“[My] first year, we had really good chemistry and good bond, and everyone wanted to play, winning the league was awesome because [LMC] hadn’t done it in a really long time.”

In her sophomore campaign, Gallagher was named captain and defender of the year for BVC. 

“I’ve always seen myself as a leader, whether I was a captain or not, because it’s important that everyone is a team player because you can’t win if you’re not there for each other,” she said. “It was humbling that [the team] trusted me to lead the team.” 

During the Sophomore Showcase, she played in a 45-minute game with and against other junior college women’s soccer players in front of four-year university college coaches. 

“I could not have been more proud of myself in the way I performed,” said Gallagher. Her performance caught the eye of a UC Davis Women’s Soccer head coach, which led to Gallagher’s commitment to the school. 

“I always say that everything happens for a reason- I hated soccer, I de-committed [from Chico State], I didn’t know if I was going to play, and now I’m here- it just makes it all worth it.”

Gallagher looks up to U.S. Soccer stars Julie Ertz and Alex Morgan, but her true role model is her father.

“He kept me going. He was really hard on me, and that made me build myself back up and keep going,” said Gallagher. 

She will begin the next chapter of her soccer journey with the UC Davis Women’s Soccer team this fall. For more information on Aggies Women’s Soccer, visit