Ariana Severo started playing soccer by the age of five. Her parents had introduced her into a lot of different sports, but soccer was the one that stuck.
When Severo turned eight, she played on her first competitive travel team. It was around that time when she set her long-term goal of playing soccer in college.
On Wednesday morning, the Golden Valley High senior made a longtime dream a reality. Severo signed her national letter of intent to accept a soccer scholarship to the University of Wisconsin Parkside. Severo was so excited and nervous to sign the papers she struggled to pull the cap off the pen.
“This makes it more real,” Severo said. “Before it was hard to believe I was going to Wisconsin to play a sport I love. Now today, it’s like, wow, it’s actually happening.”
Severo signed her papers in the principal’s office in front of her parents, brother, friends and coaches.
Golden Valley coach Ashley Farione says Wisconsin Parkside is “lucky” to get a player like Severo.
The Cougars forward has been a captain the past two seasons and has produced nine goals and 10 assists for Golden Valley this winter as they challenge for a Central California Conference championship.
“She’s great at distributing, she has an incredible shot, she has good field awareness and she has the ability to see the play develop,” Farione said.
Severo found herself on the radar of the Wisconsin Parkside coaching staff after playing in a showcase tournament in San Diego during the summer after her junior season.
Severo visited the campus in Wisconsin this past summer while attending a soccer camp at the university.
“The first thing I notices is their soccer field is amazing,” said Severo, who plans to major in criminal justice. “Walking around the campus, there are trees everywhere. It’s really green.”
Severo’s biggest adjustment to college may be the weather.
“The last time we went to the snow for the day I was freezing, with layers on,” Severo said.
With her choice of colleges locked in and her papers signed, Severo’s excitement level is growing by the minute for college.
“This feels pretty amazing,” she said. “My freshman year I was sure it was going to happen. The last few years, I knew I had this college looking at me. It felt good. I knew it might actually happen. Now that it has happened my excitement level is insanely high.”