Ines Rodriguez is going to the big city.
The Ripon soccer player is taking her winning tradition and heading east to just outside Baltimore to Towson, Maryland, to play for the Goucher Gophers, an NCAA Division III school that plays in the Landmark Conference. Last season the Gophers finished 1-3-3 in conference play and 8-7-3 overall.
Rodriguez celebrated her commitment Saturday at the Ripon High gym.
“I am so excited to represent Ripon on the East Coast, especially in such a big area,” Rodriguez said. “It is going to be such a big change. I am really excited.
“I absolutely fell in love with the area and the campus. I visited D.C. and that was a really cool experience. It’s a big change in my life and I am looking forward to it.”
Soccer has been a way of life for Rodriguez. She has played for 12 years, eight on club soccer with the last three years on the Indians varsity. She is a team captain and has made the All-Trans-Valley League team the last two seasons.
Rodriguez is no stranger to success. The Indians were TVL champions in her three years on the varsity and as a freshman she was on the junior varsity TVL championship team.
“I have devoted a lot of my life to soccer,” Rodriguez said. “So it is really good to see that pay off.”
Ripon coach Bryce Perkins sees a bright future for Rodriguez.
“Ines Rodriguez was one of the hardest working athletes we have ever had on this team,” Perkins said. “There are a lot of kids who have gone through this program and moved on to play in college and I see her as one who is going to succeed immensely.
“She is so physically strong, so dedicated and hard-working she will make it in any program she goes to and at Goucher I think she will really thrive. Some of the girls have gone through and they just didn’t have the frame, because you have to have so much frame in college now. She has speed, frame, ball skills and the whole combination.”