2021’s Daisy Bonilla dreams of shining in South Bend at Notre Dame | Youth1

2021’s Daisy Bonilla dreams of shining in South Bend at Notre Dame

Daisy Bonilla is one of the best players from the Chicago, Illinois area in the Class of 2021.


The 5-foot-3, 122-pound Bonilla, who attends Morton High School, is a dynamic player that works as a central midfielder.




Bonilla, who plays for the Indiana Elite FC, has earned plenty of recognition during her outstanding career, such as: NWI Times Athlete of the Week (2018), Times 2018 All-Area honorable mention and finalist of Indiana Cup Games.


Bonilla is humbled by the accolades.


“I was very honored to receive any recognition after coming back from a year of injuries. It’s just motivation to keep working harder,” Bonilla said. “Playing in any high level competition is always exciting and pushes me to the next level. It makes me work more harder and appreciate my love for the game.”


No matter the opponent, every match Bonilla is determined to give it his all.


Bonilla is going all out.


The motor is always at full throttle whenever Bonilla steps between the lines.


“As a midfielder my job is to make my teammates job easier,offensively and defensively,” Bonilla said. “Not only do I have to be physically at my best but also mentally understand the game.”


Bonilla has great passion and energy whenever she’s on the field. Bonilla tells why she enjoys the game of soccer so much.


“The thing I love most about stepping onto that field is the just being able to compete and play with passion,” Bonilla said. “Coming from a soccer family, I grew up on a soccer field. It is just home to me.”


Bonilla has learned many valuable lessons from playing soccer that she applies to her everyday life.


The main one is applying perspective to all situations.


“Playing has taught me many things about life. It has showed me the importance of hard work and responsibility,” Bonilla said. “It also showed me that everything in life has a meaning and a way of working it out.”


Bonilla recalls her favorite soccer memory.


“Ironically my favorite memory as a player is my injuries. After being injured twice in one year, one involving knee surgery and the other a fractured clavicle, my passion and love for the game grew stronger,” Bonilla said. “I learned to appreciate the simple things as simple as being able to go to practice. Still in the comeback process I am learning the importance of hard work.”


Semir Mesanovic has been Bonilla’s coach for the Indiana Elite for the last three years.


Mesanovic explains the best parts of Bonilla’s game.


“She’s a very competitive and technical midfielder that’s able to string passes, create for teammates, also score herself and break up opposing plays by reading plays,” Mesanovic said.


Bonilla takes her role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Bonilla makes sure she’s a daily positive influence on her peers.


“I try to be supportive of my teammates. My club team is a new formed team and we are all learning each other’s personalities and trying to put the pieces in together as a competitive team,” Bonilla said. “I tell them that when things don’t go your way, there’s always a way to make them right. To never give up because you only lose when you do.”


Mesanovic adds that Bonilla is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.


“She’s been a captain on previous teams and she leads by example in training and in games,” Mesanovic said.


Bonilla is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.


“In my seven years with my club, I’ve had two coaches that have impacted my life.  They have taught me that hard work is everything. You could have talent but if you do not put in the work there is nothing. I’ve learned that discipline is what separates the good from the great. Last but not least they have taught me to be humble,” Bonilla said. “My actual coach Semir has always said be patient, work hard, be humble, stay away from boys, and smile.”


Mesanovic is an advocate of Bonilla’s capabilities.

“Played on u16 team two years in regionals as a 14-year-old, helped current MRL team reach MRL status play and reached finals of President’s Cup, scored very decisive goals to help team play over the years at highest level regionally,” Mesanovic said.


In addition to making clutch plays, Bonilla also has a high level of soccer IQ as well.


Bonilla has excellent awareness that puts her in position to thrive.


“She is an exceptionally smart player that can play at both ends off the field, helps team build up in attack to create chances and also defends and break opponents’ plays,” Mesanovic said.


Bonilla is on the grind to perfect and hone her craft in any way possible.


“She trains like she plays in games, is very competitive and wants to win at all cost, and is the ultimate leader and teammate,” Mesanovic said. “Daisy is unique to her style. She’s a very smart and technical player.”


Bonilla looks up to her father, a former soccer player.


“I am a huge fan of many pro soccer players but honestly my true inspiration is my dad. My dad has played competitive soccer most of his life and has taught me the importance of playing simple,” Bonilla said. “He has showed me the passion, the respect, and the love for that soccer ball. Being both midfielders he has taught the importance of mentally seeing the game. The most important thing he has taught me is just to have fun.”


Bonilla is constantly striving for greatness in everything that she does.


“My goal on the field is to be efficient for my team. To be the best for my teammates and to compete at the highest level possible,” Bonilla said. “My goal off the field is to graduate with a high GPA and get into a college where I can keep playing at a high level.”


Bonilla’s dream college is Notre Dame.


“Their soccer program is very diverse and competitive,” Bonilla said. “I am also interested in UIC because of their soccer program.”


Bonilla lists Psychology as her favorite subject in school.


“The parts of the brain interest me and learning the different behaviors of our society,” Bonilla said.


Mesanovic believes Bonilla is determined take her game to the next level.


“After coming back from an injury she’s working back to getting full fitness and beyond, playing at faster and quicker pace and getting ready for college soccer,” Mesanovic said.


Mesanovic believes the sky is the limit as long as Bonilla continues to stay hungry.  


“She has the potential and desire to play next level soccer, in college and beyond,” Mesanovic said. “She has all characteristics to do so.”



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