The Rockford Park District hosted hundreds of soccer players this weekend at Sportscore Two for the Puma Cup tournament and college showcase, but three names stood out as they enjoyed a homecoming to familiar territory.
As part of the NCAA schedule at Sportscore Two, NIU-Valparaiso and UW-Milwaukee-Illinois State were two women’s games that saw Taylor Sarver (NIU), Adi Johnson (Valpo), and McKaela Schmelzer (UWM) all come back to the region they call home. All three enjoyed immense high school and club success in the NIC-10 and Big Northern, and were all thrilled to take in the new sights at RPD’s new facility.
"I’ve been hyping it up for the past three weeks," said Johnson, a Rockford Christian graduate.
"I was excited when they told us we’d play at home," said Sarver, who separated herself with the Rockford Raptors. "This is the first time I’ve played in here."
"It’s nice to be in front of family, not everyone can make it to Milwaukee," said Schmelzer, who plays two sports for the Lady Panthers after doing the same at Harlem. "Just to see everyone do well…and be back here together, it’s awesome."