Opportunity knocks


Schoolcraft’s Cano has shot to play for U.S. Women’s Deaf National Soccer Team

By Erin McKay
Staff Writer

Adversity can seem to prohibit some people from achieving their personal or academic goals in life, but others embrace their challenges and channel their energy into something powerful beyond measure.

Alexis “Lexie” Cano,  has faced adversity throughout her life being deaf, but she has an ample amount of focus and determination which is what allows her to excel.  This summer, Cano has an opportunity to attend a training camp for the United States Women’s Deaf National Soccer Team from July 26-29 in Pittsburgh.

“We are very proud of Alexis and this incredible opportunity she has to represent our country and Schoolcraft College, I will be hoping for great results from her,” Schoolcraft College Women’s Soccer Head Coach Deepak Shivraman said,

Cano discovered the opportunity to play for the national team while she was training at High Velocity, an indoor soccer complex in Canton, where her father introduced her to Sam Makki, the former trainer for the Deaf National Team, who encouraged her to attend tryouts.

Players on the Deaf National Team must have hearing loss of 55 decibels in the strongest ear.  Players must also submit their audiograms to the coaching staff for further review to determine whether or not players qualify for the team. The Deaf National team requires the players to take out any hearing devices while they play in games and the referees use flags to make calls instead of whistles.

There is no age limit for players on the Deaf National Team and players’ ages range from 15 to almost 40-years-old. The Deaf National Soccer team has a successful history and, in 2013, they led team USA to a gold medal over Russia at the 22nd Deaflympics Games in Sofia, Bulgaria.            The team exhibits incredible talent, and Cano said she believes this opportunity will provide a beneficial experience to play with teammates of all ages and learn from the older players while mentoring the younger players. Cano has had to overcome some challenges playing soccer throughout her career. Extreme weather conditions require her to take out one of her hearing aids because they are not waterproof. Headers can be risky as well because her hearing aid or cochlear implant can fall out.

“I’ve had times in a game where they have come completely off, and then I have to stop what I’m doing and get on my hands and knees to search for them before somebody steps on it,” Cano said.

Cano finished her freshmen year at Schoolcraft College where she experienced many positive experiences. In the fall of 2013, she was a member of the Schoolcraft College Women’s Soccer team and helped contribute to their success as they went  undefeated in the MCCAA and made a regional appearance. Cano anxiously awaits the upcoming 2014 season to be reunited with her team.

“Lexie brings a spark to the team and serves as an inspiration to us; she doesn’t let her disability define her,” said Jessica Parry, Schoolcraft’s Women’s Soccer captain.

Cano is very focused on her athletic goals as well as her academics. She hopes to pursue a degree in physical therapy. After the 2013 season ended, Cano joined the Writing Fellows through the Learning Assistance Center at Schoolcraft College where she assists students, helping them to reach their potential and become better writers. She said she enjoys spending her time helping others.

One could say Cano blooms where she is planted.  Her success in life comes from determination, hard work and perseverance.  Cano shared her advice for anyone who must deal with adversity: “Find ways to use your disability to your advantage, learn how to embrace it.”


*Featured image from Google Images.