For Yomira Arrese, it's all about the intensity of the game.

"You've got to be on your toes at all times," said the 18-year-old senior who plays center midfield for the South Walton Seahawks girl's soccer team.

"You are always on the go and you have to think about your next move before you get the ball," said Yomira, who leads the team with 29 goals following last weeks District 2-1 win over Pensacola Catholic.

As a matter of fact, Yomira booted in the first goal in the first 10 minutes against Catholic.

"It felt pretty great," she said. "I knew I had to go off on it." 

Earlier in the season, South Walton lost 3-1 to Catholic and then tied with them at 1-1 during another game.

Yomira loves playing at center midfield and all that it entails.

"You're the play maker. You're like the brain of the team," she said as the center midfielder. "At times it kind of weighs down on you. It's like a big responsibility."

But she manages it well.

"Yomira is the perfect player to coach and is a joy to watch play," said assistant coach Nick Zimmerman in an email to The Sun. "She reminds me of Lionel Messi with her dribbling and scoring skills. Her overall skill set, vision of the game, and determination is extraordinary."

Yomira, daughter of Jessica and Guillermo Rodriguez of Santa Rosa Beach, has been playing soccer since about age 5.

"My family has always been into soccer," she said.

She started playing in a travel league in Brockton, Mass., then later in California.

Her family made the move to the Florida when she was in the eighth grade. After playing for the Fort Walton Beach Vikings as a freshman and sophomore, Yomira made the shift to South Walton High as a junior.

As a Seahawk, she practices about three hours each day with the team after school. However she puts in time on the weekend at the gym and time at home after team workouts.

"I juggle in the backyard and do other things that I need to work on," she said.

Thursday night the Lady Seahawks were poised to take on Florida High in the Florida High School Athletic Association 2A Girls Soccer Regional Quarterfinals. Results were not available as of press time

"They're real competitive. We've got to give it all we have and leave it all on the field," she said Wednesday afternoon. "Hopefully we'll keep going with the momentum."

Nevertheless, she was not looking forward to playing in the cold. At game time, the temps were expected to be in the mid-40s.

She explained that she wears Under Armour to stay warm.

"When my throat starts hurting, I chew gum it really does help," she said.

After high school, Yomira hopes to play college ball and study forensics.

"Several colleges will be fighting to get her and the college that wins will be very lucky to have her," Zimmerman said. "She will be a great asset to any college, professional team and eventually the USA national team."