STEPHANIE Flores will play for the Lady Blues, Illinois College’s soccer team in the NCAA D3 Midwest Conference.
The 16-year-old NMI Women's National Team and Southern United Football Club player is a stand-alone force as seen in the Dove Women's League Spring 2021 A Division where she is one of SUFC’s main scorers.
For Flores, being able to play in the NCAA D3 is another momentous step in life. “I feel excited knowing that I have a chance to represent our island, and nervous that I’ll be challenging stronger teams while meeting new people and gaining new experiences in the process of everything.”
Flores added, “I think that college soccer won’t be the same level of competition. Since the players are older they may have more experience, are more physical, they would be bigger than me, and they could be fitter. It would also be a challenge for me because I’m the youngest recruit on my team.”
However, she said soccer is not her main focus and is more of an added bonus achieved by hard work.
The Marianas High School graduate said she chose Illinois College for its courses and merit scholarship besides its soccer program.
She will major in Biology. “My main focus is my academics and to receive as much scholarships as I can to pay for my tuition,” she said.
Asked if she wants to become a professional football player, she responded, “I’m not sure because my academics come first. But I’d like to think of it as a possibility.”
Flores said she is grateful “to all the people who have made it possible for me to develop as a student and as a player. They have allowed me to be able to play in college. I’d like to thank my parents for helping me out. I’d also want to thank my counselor, teachers, and Doc [Chas Algaier of MHS] for helping me in school. Lastly, I’d want to thank the NMI Football Association’s staff, coaches and Mr. Jerry Tan for helping me develop as a player and giving me many opportunities throughout these years.”