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Two athletes, two schools, two universities, one love

One of the lesser known, but most heartwarming sports stories of the fall is a tale of two athletes, two universities and the love of one sport.

Rebecca Dodele of St. Vincent High School and McKenzie Maher of Petaluma High School have been awarded partial scholarships to continue their education and soccer careers by California universities. Dodele will attend University of the Pacific in Stockton, while Maher will continue her education at Sonoma State University.

The two have crossed paths many times during what have already been long soccer careers, including playing on the same Sonoma County Alliance Club 97 team. They have shared some of the same club coaches and earned many of the same honors for their play on the field. Although they played on different high school teams, both have been instrumental in leading their teams to success during their prep years. Now, both will continue their sports and academic careers at universities both feel are a perfect fit.

REBECCA DODELE

Dodele said she chose the University of Pacific because it reminds here a lot of St. Vincent, a high school she has grown to love.

"It is a small community like St. Vincent with a lot of people who really seem to care for one another," she explains. "The teacher-student ratio is small. The campus is really beautiful. It felt like home."

She said she had pretty much narrowed her choice to Pacific or Fresno State and, after a visit to the Pacific campus, the choice was down to one.

She also likes that Pacific is part of the West Coast Conference, which will give her a chance to play against teams like BYU, San Diego, St. Mary's and Portland. "It is a very tough conference, and I'm looking forward to playing against those teams," she says.

Dodele still hasn't decided on a major. "I'm going to explore a major in psychology, but I'm not really sure," she says.


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