Houston soccer star defender headed to Mount Marty College in South Dakota / Photo credit Bruce Eggleston, matsusports.net
After learning perseverance and passion with her high school team at Houston, Aspen Ruth is ready to tackle college soccer.
The all-star senior defender signed her letter of intent with Mount Marty College, a NAIA school in Yankton, South Dakota, and will be eligible this fall.
“When I was looking for a school I had three main things I wanted, small in size, opportunity for me to play soccer and athletic training major,” Ruth told me. “As I toured the campus it felt a little like home; the weather wasn't too hot or too cold and it just felt right. The coach was super nice and super helpful.”
Yankton has a population of about 15,000 and is located right on the border with Nebraska. Mount Marty is a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
“I'm very excited to play at the next level,” she said. “It's a way for me to see that the work I put in paid off.”
Ruth carries a 3.5 GPA while participating in sports all year. She is a four-year varsity player on the Houston volleyball, basketball and soccer teams in addition to playing football with the boys.
“My parents were my No. 1 supporters through my years of playing soccer,” she said. “They were there for everything and always pushing me to do my best and driving me to and from practices.”
The 5-foot-8 playmaker earned all-conference in volleyball and soccer, and has been named the Houston soccer MVP in each of her first three years.
“Houston soccer isn't known for being the best but I feel as if we are known for being hard workers and no matter what the score we never give up,” she said. “And it feels great that I can show younger players that even though you play for Houston you can still go on to play at the next level.”
Right now, though, her focus is helping the Hawks make school history on the soccer field.
“Our team goal this year is to make it to regions for the first time in our programs history,” she said. “I think my drive to win and play hard will help me succeed at the next level.”
Ruth is all about Alaska and she plans to take a little piece of the 907 with her when she leaves for South Dakota.
“I want to get an Alaska tattoo on my 18th in July, which that will be my way of keeping it close and always a part of me,” she said.
Van Williams is a freelance writer in Anchorage and a correspondent for the Alaska School Activities Association.