Flores to join Illinois College’s Soccer program

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Stephanie Flores in action while suiting up for Southern United in the recently concluded 2021 Dove Spring season. (Contributed Photo)

Stephanie Flores is set to embark on a new adventure now that she has committed to playing college soccer with Illinois College.

Flores will take off on a new journey as she enters collegiate soccer and will officially play soccer on an NCAA level since Illinois College is recognized as an NCAA Division 3 school.

“I feel happy and excited about moving on to play soccer on an NCAA level. I’m able to face tougher teams while representing our islands as I play. This is another adventure that’s pushing me to [go further than] where I am now,” she said.

According to Flores, she chose Illinois College because of the scholarships offered and its accommodations. Although it isn’t a full college ride, she is still grateful that it will cover over half of her tuition whilst also allowing her to continue playing soccer.

“I chose to attend Illinois College because of the scholarships I’ve received from the school and the facilities/accommodations I’d be able to receive at the school. This won’t be a full college ride but the scholarships I’ve received cover more than half my costs,” she said.

The athlete has played soccer for a good chunk of her teen years and has even played for the CNMI National team since 2018.

“I started playing for the nationals around 2018 or 2019. The trips I’ve went on for the national team are Korea and the Philippines. I played for TanHoldings, Kanoa Football Club, and Southern United,” she said.

Currently, Flores plays for Southern United with her team nearly winning the 2021 Dove Spring league that concluded last Sunday.

Flores said she has no idea what to expect next but she thanks all those who have helped her get to where she is now and who continue to support her on her new journey.

“I have no idea what to expect. I know that I’ll be going against teams who are more physical and stronger but other than that I don’t know what to expect. I’d want to thank 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 picking me up and helping me out. I’d also want to thank my counselor, teachers, and Doctor Chas Algaier for helping me in school. Lastly, I’d want to thank NMIFA’s staff, coaches, and Jerry Tan for helping me develop as a player and giving me many opportunities and trainings throughout the years I’ve played. I appreciate you all and I wouldn’t have gone this far without any of you,” she said.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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