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story.lead_photo.caption RICK PECK/SPECIAL TO MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS Aaliyah Rubio recently signed a letter of intent to continue her soccer career at Neosho County Community College in Chanute, Kan.

The 2020 season was expected to be a breakout year for the McDonald County High School girls' soccer team.

But instead of being a breakout season, it turned out to be a nonseason after school was canceled just a couple of weeks into practice due to covid-19.

For some of the seniors, missing their senior season was the last chance for them to play soccer.

But for a few others, their soccer career will continue at the collegiate level.

Aaliyah Rubio is the third member of the Lady Mustangs 2020 senior class to announce she will continue to play soccer in college.

Rubio joins teammates Ava Smith and Alexia Estrada to sign with a local junior college. Smith and Estrada will be teammates at Northeastern Oklahoma A and M while Rubio Recently signed to play at Neosho County Community College in Chanute, Kan.

"When I was a kid, it was always a dream of mine to play soccer at a college level," Rubio said. "Just knowing that I have accomplished that dream brings me so much joy. I think it's safe to say I am super excited to play soccer at Neosho County. I know that it will be hard and there will be challenges, but I'm confident that I can overcome them and keep going. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for me."

Rubio said she chose Neosho County because it offers courses for her to become an occupational therapist's assistant upon graduation in addition to allowing her to continue her soccer career.

Rubio said former MCHS coach James Carter paved the way for her at Neosho County.

"Coach Carter actually gave the head coach at Neosho County a call and talked to him about me," Rubio said. "Coach Carter then told me that the coach from Neosho County was still searching for girls for his team and that I should give him a call."

Rubio said, due to the coronavirus, she was not able to visit the school or attend a tryout.

"I have seen the campus virtually and the coach and I did talk on the phone," Rubio said. "We asked each other questions and talked about my accomplishments."

Rubio said her being able to play soccer at college wouldn't have been possible without a lot of help from a lot of people.

"I would like to thank all my coaches, teammates and friends for helping me on this journey," Rubio said. "Without their help, I wouldn't have been able to accomplish my dream of playing soccer in college. I'd also like to send a big thank you to my family for always supporting me and being my number one fans. I can't wait to see them continue to cheer me on."

Rubio, a midfielder and wing, is the daughter of Ana and John Martin.

She said missing her senior year was tough.

"I missed not having a senior year of high school a lot, especially since I wasn't able to play my last year of high school soccer," Rubio said. "I like to finish what I start and not being able to finish the season, or even high school, really sucked. But I know that our school district is trying its hardest to help us be able to experience our last semester with some of the things we missed."

Carter coached Rubio her freshman and sophomore years. As a junior, John Delatorre was the Lady Mustangs' head coach.

"Aaliyah is a very talented player," Delatorre said. "She is a great leader and a great person. She is involved in multiple school organizations and clubs and is a great leader off the field as well. She is a player we are going to miss greatly and a senior we wish that we could spend one last season with."

Sports on 05/14/2020

Print Headline: Rubio Continues Soccer At Collegiate Level

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