From the Valley to Asheville, North Carolina

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Record setting Lady Monarchs goalkeeper will be heading to the South to play four-year university ball. 

By Jorge Belon, Managing Editor 

With UNC Asheville Bulldogs Head Coach Michelle Demko and Athena Del Rosario verbally agreeing to her playing in North Carolina, the 32-year-old is now packing her bags and heading to the South.

However, until the Admission Department clears her she is not an official member of the Bulldogs, according to Asheville’s Head Coach Michelle Demko.

Del Rosario is on the verge of heading to North Carolina after rewriting multiple goalkeeping records at Valley College. In two seasons she managed to record 15 shutouts, along with stopping a total of 267 shots while guiding the Monarchs to the best record in their program’s history in 2014, finishing 12-7-2.

Her first season ended with a rough 4-10-7 record and she was scored on 40 times but she still managed to rebound and block 137 saves and getting five shutouts in the process.

“I got lucky, I did not find them [UNC Asheville] they found me. That’s what makes it even more special,” Del Roasrio said. “They contacted me early December. I was on my way to class getting into my car when I got the email from the coach. Getting an email from any coach is so exciting, but after I did my research I knew I wanted to go.”

Athena Del Rosario is on the verge of going to UNC Ashville. Jay Gilliland/Photo Editor

Athena Del Rosario is on the verge of going to UNC Ashville.

The South Bay native is not only going to the South for just soccer reasons, she is also heading there for education.

The environmental science major was also sold on Asheville because of how strong their program is, which includes a number of glamorous internships that offered at the university, such as: United States Geological Survey, Smithsonian Institution, National Park Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and many more.

For Del Rosario all roads are pointed to one direction and that is moving to the South after the spring semester ends, but until then she must wait for admissions to clear her so she can officially become a Bulldog.

“At this point I am sold on this school, it has the whole package for me,” she said.

“It’s exciting, when I first came to Valley all I knew is that I wanted to major in environmental science and that was it. Who would have known after picking up the Valley Star and seeing that the soccer team needed players that I would now be here, because this was definitely not a part of the plan.”

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