ROSE HILL—Rose Hill senior Alia Khalidi knows her major is in biology and her future is in the medical field.
But when she laced up her shoes and played the season opener for the Rockets soccer team, she realized she loved the sport too much for this to be her last year.
"At first, I wasn't going to play soccer in college," Khalidi said. "After I played my first game this year, I was like 'I can't not play soccer."
After McPherson coach John Talley first watched her play, he knew right away he wanted her to play on his team. Khalidi decided that's where she wanted to go. She signed a letter of intent Wednesday to join McPherson's soccer program next year.
"Just watching her play, she's got good size, she's a physical player when she needs to be, very disciplined," Talley said. "And that's what I look for as a coach. Somebody who knows what they're supposed to be doing, and works hard all the time."
For Khalidi, the decision was made far easier knowing her two older brothers—Tarek and Ramsey, who both played soccer at McPherson, too—went to the college.
"I've heard it's a good school. It's a good soccer program," Khalidi said.
While soccer is her favorite, Khalidi has been a good athlete for the other Rose Hill teams, such as basketball.
"There's a lot of speed, a lot of athletic talent," Rose Hill first-year soccer coach Mike Terrell said of Khalidi. "...There's a lot of talent there that, when she gets to college and focuses on [soccer], they are going to unleash that."
Khalidi is the lone senior for a Rose Hill team that had eight a year ago.
"I get to take on a new role," Khalidi said. "I kind of watched them (last year), and now I'm the leader."