ROGERS (KFSM)--Leslie Barrales is ready to sign her National Letter of Intent on Thursday, to play college soccer at the University of the Ozarks. But for the senior, soccer isn't all that's in the future.
The Lady Mounties won the 2018 7A state championship, but Barrales wasn't on the field playing.
"Junior year I was part of the team but I wasn’t. I had an ACL injury so I was out kind of the whole season," the senior remembered.
"Anybody who’s had an ACL injury or had a friend who’s had an ACL injury, it’s not a quick route back," coach Aaron Crouch explained. "There is no fast routes, there’s just simply your dedication to get yourself back."
Barrales then had a seven month physcial therapy process just to get back on the field. But that half year changed her life.
"I don’t want to go pro because I do want to focus on my career," Barrales said. "Ever since my surgery, it’s been physical therapy. They’re just a big part of what you become after."
"Physical therapists have so much more to do than just getting you ready physically," Crouch said. "There’s a lot of emotional recovery as well with that."
"Making an impact in somebody’s life like that, that’s just where I want to be," said Barrales, a captain this season.
Rogers is off to a 15-1 start, 10-0 in the 6A West. But this season has been all about getting back into the swing of things for Barrales.
"I think the first time coming onto the field after the surgery, I just wanted it. Now it’s my comeback season and I just don’t want to get hurt but also want to produce something."
"She’s definitely deserving [of playing soccer in college] and I’m really glad that she was able to achieve that dream cause not everyone gets there," Crouch said.