Sioux Falls, SD
Any soccer player will tell you it is a rush when everyone watches you make a goal.
"Soccer is a big sport in the world," Taylor Machacek, a Roosevelt High School senior, said.
The sport is the center of the universe for multiple high school girls in KELOLAND.
"From the first time I ever touched a soccer ball, I knew I never wanted to stop," Kami Miller, a Lincoln High School senior, said.
Miller will not have to anytime soon. Miller recently signed a letter of intent to play soccer at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. She is one of 13 senior girls who signed letters to continue their soccer careers at the collegiate level.
"Before that, I was like, 'Yeah, I'm going to play college soccer.' But then actually signing, I was like, 'It's finally official,'" Machacek, who will play at Augustana College, said.
In all, members of the Dakota Alliance Soccer Club will attend nine different college/Universities. The Divisions represented are three Division I schools, three Division II schools, one Division III school and two NAIA schools.
For most of these girls, playing soccer in Sioux Falls and becoming college athletes is a big victory because the sport is not sanctioned by the Sioux Falls School District. They also are not shy about pointing out that football usually steals the spotlight from their sport. Even so, nothing has stopped anyone from working hard.
"We try to push them as much as we can here, but the college level is a whole different game," coach Aric Spader said.
Other school districts in South Dakota have picked up soccer, including Brandon Valley and Belle Fourche. These girls hope Sioux Falls soon follows.
"Right now, we're having to pay for it and kids with not as much money would get the opportunity for their school, which would be really awesome," Miller said.
"Without our parents paying for long trips and taking vacation, things like that, to take us to these big tournaments and traveling for practice and things like that, none of us would be the athletes we are today," Ricki Yasgar, who signed to play at the University of South Dakota, said.
Through practices, drills and teamwork, these athletes have learned a thing or two about perseverance.
"Sometimes soccer gets overlooked because it's not football. You know what I mean?" Miller said.
That is why it is even better to meet your goal, and succeed, when it feels like nobody has been watching.
2014 Signing Day, Courtesy: Dakota Alliance Soccer Club