ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- Spring 2019 marked a historic season for the Alleman Pioneers on the pitch. It was the girls soccer team's second trip to Super Sectionals in school history.
"I think if we did it once, we can do it again." said Alli Edwards, an Alleman senior.
Now, with some new faces in the lineup, the Pioneers want more.
"I think we have just a much potential to go to the level we did last year to Super Sectionals, if not further to state." said Edwards.
One of the weapons Alli and her teammates hope will get them to state is freshman Kiersten Bailey. She may be new to the Pioneers, but not to the game of soccer. The forward started playing when she was four.
"It was just that I wanted to follow what my sisters were doing. It started out as a jealousy thing because I wanted to beat them," said Bailey. "But then I ended up really, really loving it and it became about getting better."
Bailey is not your typical freshman.
"She's got awesome footwork and she knows how to move on and off the ball." said Edwards.
Thanks to her club team, QC Rush, she's getting the chance to play on an international stage in Germany in late-March before stepping on the field at the high school level.
"I have a really high expectation of myself to get the team to where they need to be," said Bailey. "I think I do a good job of holding everyone to their standards."
Bailey impressed some national coaches, being chosen out of hundreds of other girls vying for one of 16 spots on the Rush Select National Team.
"Oh I cried," said Bailey of the moment she found out she made the team. "I cried for sure."
Those tears, a little sweat, and a lot of hard work, she hopes elevates her game while overseas and on her home pitch.
"This was a really, really big step for me and I've worked really hard to get here," said Bailey. "My family and friends have all helped me get here. Now I'm finally here and I just get to get an opportunity to get to the real places I want to go in life."
Which means more work on and off the field to get to her ultimate goal -- playing at the Division I level in college. Bailey is a serious student. When she's not playing, she focuses heavily on her schoolwork and grades.
Bailey's family is still gathering funds for her trip to Germany in March. If you'd like to contribute, click here.