Growing up in Calangute, little did young Yolanda D'Souza Kammermeier know that she was going to be part of a historic era in Indian women's football in the late 70s and early 80s.
In what was a stellar career, Yolanda was conferred with the Bakshi Bahaddar Jivbadada Kerkar Award by the Government of Goa in 1979 before being voted "Player of the Decade" by the Women's Football Federation of India (WFFI) in 1980. She was also the first woman to score an international hat-trick for India against Swedish club BET in 1976.
A few years ago, she got back her number 10 jersey, which she had exchanged with the Swedish side's vice captain Mona Wahlgren after that match, by a stroke of luck.
She scored in what is now called 'Adam vs Eves' match, in Panjim in 1973, where the women triumphed against men 3-1.
"Mona Wahlgren came to Goa because they were writing about their team (BET) and the nice surprise was that she brought me my number 10 shirt with which I had scored the hat-trick. It was really very nice of her to do. I was really surprised," Yolanda told Goal.
Looking back at how it all started, Yolanda recalled how she came to take up football. She would often play with her brother Francisco and some of it had to go with the fact that girls from neighbouring villages - Candolim and Parra - usually played inter-village football tournaments.
"I used to like football, so wherever he (Francisco) went to play I used to go along with him. I used to join the boys to play," she said.
She added, "It was more inter-village (football for women) that was happening. Candolim had a side, Parra had a side. I think it (women's football) was more in the North Goa (initially).
"So when these two teams came up, I said 'If Candolim is playing so well, why can't we?' Calangute had many athletes - most of them coming from my school. So I caught hold of some of my friends and I showed them how to play the game on the beach. Some of the boys asked us to come to the ground and so we started playing with the boys."
The title of 'Hat-trick Queen' was befitting her record of scoring a hat-trick in each of her debuts - for Calangute Village against Candolim in 1975, for Goa at the 1976 Nationals at Sultanpur and for India vs Swedish club BET in her international debut match at Lakhimpur in 1976.
Yolanda says the 'Adam vs Eve' match in Panjim in 1973 was the first ever recorded women's match.
"We had a friendly against Candolim. It basically became the first recorded (women's football) match. And then other villages started playing and we started playing friendlies before we started getting support from the GFA (Goa Football Association)," she claimed.
"There must have been at least 12-13 villages playing against each other but not in a league. The first league in Goa, called the Parkot trophy was organised by the Vasco Sports Club with about 14-15 village teams participating and later on it came under the aegis of GFA."
Yolanda not only dabbled in football but she was also successful in badminton and hockey as well.
"In those days, whatever game we played, we played out of passion and for the fact that you could represent your country or state. We would be happy with the trophies that we won. No game was so very professional at the time I played from 1975 to 1981.
"I was a state player in badminton and hockey also."
However, Yolanda opened up on how she came to focus on football.
"Before I could represent India in hockey, I shifted to football because the backing that we got for football wasn't the same that we got for hockey. In fact, we were very good in hockey and I was selected for the India team but unfortunately that year we did not go to Russia because of some reason and immediately after that, I joined football," she recalled.
In 1976, Goa participated in the Nationals that was played at Sultanpur and Yolanda made her appearance on the big stage with a bang. She scored 15 goals which included three hat-tricks.
However, Goa had to wait until the next Nationals that was hosted at the Bandodkar stadium in Campal to defeat Bengal (now West Bengal) to lift the trophy, but there was a reason why Yolanda believes they didn't win outside Goa.
"The thing is, we always lost against Bengal outside (of Goa)," she admitted. "The only time we won was when it happened in Goa and I would think it was because of the coach. It makes a difference when the guy who is coaching you is there along with you. Even at the first nationals (1976), we were the better team.
"Joao de Mello was the Sesa coach and because in those days, men's football was also being played very expansively with everyone being interested, he couldn't leave his job and come with us. We had backing of the crowd everywhere we went. I think it was more like a push that you need to have from the coach to tell you the right thing at the right time."
While Goa defeated Bengal 3-0 in the final in 1977 nationals, Yolanda fondly remembers the tournament.
"The fact remains that I was the top scorer in three of the four tournaments. In the first one that was in Sultanpur, I scored more than the whole Bengal team. In Goa, I was the second highest top scorer (18) because my team-mate Succorinha (Pereira) was the top scorer (19) but I have one very good memory of that tournament because I scored in every single match of the tournament.
She continued, "And in a match (against Madhya Pradesh), (I scored) 11 (goals) but I wouldn't take much credit for that because the team I was playing against were novices. We were feeling so stupid to keep on scoring. In fact, I remember Succorinha turning to me and asking me, 'should I score?'. We didn't want to be near their goal but we couldn't help it, you know."
In the 1979 Nationals held in Calicut (now Kozhikode), Yolanda scored 13 goals that involved two hat-tricks and repeated the same feet in the 1980 Nationals in Lucknow. She was declared Player of the Tournament on all the three occasions she topped the scorers chart.
Yolanda found herself making her international debut in 1976 against the visiting Swedish side BET wherein the Indian team recorded seven wins. She also became the first woman to score an international hat-trick. In 1978, India also won the series against Tiverton Ladies Club from England, with Yolanda playing a significant part.
She was also a silver medalist at the 1979 Women's Asian Cup that was held in Calicut, where Yolanda scored against the likes of Hong Kong twice (group stage and semi-final) before India lost to Chinese Taipei in the final.
Her reason for quitting football, after the 1981 World Cup, then referred to as the Women's World Invitational Tournament, was an injury and a penchant for art. In the tournament, India finished third in their group, after two draws against Haiti and Bergisch Gladbach and a loss (5-0) against HJK Helsinki.
"It was a second injury of the same type and I didn't have the patience to go through the entire process again. I had to catch up with my passion for art also."
She was the only Goan and the vice captain of the Indian women's team at the two tournaments.
In fact, much for the struggles that may be recalled with the absence of professionalism, Yolanda pursued her passion despite the challenges.
"When I played football, I was also studying arts. In fact, on many occasions I wanted to leave (football) because art is something I wanted to do till I die but football is something that has a timeline. You cannot go on playing (football) forever. I tried more than once getting out of the Arts college because I wasn't getting the time to play football or practice. The Arts college was a full-day affair.
"But my principal at the time was nice. He said, 'You are not going to leave because you are not going to mess up your (Arts) career for a few years of soccer'. So he gave me the freedom to play football. So I spent more time out of college than in college during those days.
"So I decided that once I stopped playing football, it must be Arts because you cannot serve two masters at one time. Art was also my passion and it takes as much time as football. Even if I wanted to be a coach, it had to be your whole self."
Perhaps it was this challenge that prevented Yolanda from living up to her dream of football at her best.
"Even when I started working, I wanted to leave football but my director was kind enough to let me play. But it was taking a toll on my game because I couldn't practice as much as I would need to."
Despite all that, Yolanda remains a legend of the women's game in India and her goalscoring exploits remain unparalleled.