Comox Valley soccer product Malia Irvine has graduated from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, to where she earned a four-year scholarship. Photo supplied

Valley footballer completes university career

Comox Valley soccer player Malia Irvine has completed a four-year soccer scholarship at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The Mark Isfeld Secondary graduate earned a bachelor of science in kinesiology while playing full-time for the ‘Vaqueros’ women’s team.

Irvine played most of her youth soccer with Comox Valley United, under the tutelage of coaches Darrin McLeod, Mike Oldale and Matt Laver. In her last year, she was part of the first graduating Upper Island Riptide girls’ team.

A striker for the Riptide, Irvine wound up playing fullback for her entire university soccer career. She played throughout Texas and the whole of the western United States, north to Chicago and west to Seattle. She played twice at the University of Seattle before a large contingent of friends and family.

Irvine’s Riptide teammate Mackenzie McLeod also played for the Vaqueros. Unfortunately, she was hurt in her third year and was unable to continue with soccer.

Both girls enjoyed their experience, making lifelong friends from Texas, Mexico, Sweden and Norway. A highlight was playing together as starting fullbacks for a season. Both now live in Victoria. McLeod is continuing her education at the University of Victoria and Irvine is starting her career.

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