Julia Herbst traveled almost 5,000 miles from her home in Brazil to join the Iowa Central women's soccer program here in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
And the Bandeirantes native is glad she did.
Through 11 matches this season, the freshman has scored 22 goals and dished out four assists, helping the Tritons to an 8-3 record overall and 4-1 mark in the ICCAC.
"This season has been very good for me," Herbst said. "I've been achieving my goals, scoring almost every single game and helping my team. I believe that our team is doing a great job. We are playing as a family, one playing for the other.
"I also believe that if we keep playing with this mentality, we can fight for nationals."
Iowa Central has reeled off four consecutive wins heading into a matchup Saturday in Ottumwa vs. Indian Hills. During those matches, Herbst has scored an incredible 14 goals, including five in a 7-1 win over Hawkeye and four more in a 5-0 shutout of Scott.
"I've been working a lot at practice," she said. "Also, I always listen to my coach to give my best in the game and help my teammates on the field."
Herbst has scored in all but two games in which she has played, recording two more hat tricks in victories over Iowa Lakes and North Iowa Area. She has scored 48 total points, with her 22 goals placing her ninth in the nation.
Despite the strong start to her career here in the U.S., Herbst does admit there was a learning curve adjusting to the American-style of soccer compared to how the game is played in Brazil.
"For me, the most different thing that I noticed between the soccer here in the U.S. and Brazil is the fitness," Herbst said. "The game in Brazil is faster than here, but here, the teams are physically stronger."
As for packing up and moving all the way to Iowa, Herbst said Iowa Central is "a safe place with good instructors and a good structure. The people, in general, are very nice and are always trying to help each other."