By Ray Hamill — From one powerhouse program to another, Eureka senior Aquene Tollefson announced recently that she has committed to play college soccer at Dominican University after graduation.
The standout midfielder has played a key role for the Loggers in her three seasons with the team, including Eureka’s historic unbeaten campaign and North Coast Section championship in 2018.
And now she’s found the perfect fit to continue her playing career at the collegiate level, while embarking on the next big chapter in her life.
“I’ve been looking at Dominican for a long time,” she said of the small private school in San Rafael. “And I really want to do nursing and they have a great nursing program.”
School administrators have also told Tollefson that they will work with her to accommodate her studies and travel commitments with the team, which played a part in her decision to commit there, as did the small size of the school.
She joins a powerhouse Division-II program that has dominated the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference in recent years under head coach Carlos Carrillo.
The Stars have lost just once in their last 33 conference games, posting an impressive 17-3 overall record in 2019.
Tollefson says she also considered Chico State and Sonoma State, as well as Humboldt State, but added with a chuckle that she “kind of wanted to leave” the area.
“I looked at a lot of schools,” she said. “Dominican, it just kind of all fit together.”
For now, however, she still has her sights set on closing out her high school career with a bang and hopefully another championship season with the Loggers.
“I hope we play,” she said. “And I hope we win NCS again. We’ve got a good team this year, and I know us seniors really want to win NCS again.”
Tollefson is one of several current Eureka players who will continue their careers at the collegiate level after graduation, joining fellow seniors Keylei Carroll (UC Davis), Klayre Barres (Chico State) and Brynn Hales (Southern Oregon).
And Tollefson says she will miss the close friendships she has made on the team more than anything.
“The camaraderie on the team is great,” she said. “We all work together and all support each other. My teammates are amazing.”
Tollefson, who has excelled as a midfielder and offensive threat with the Loggers, admits she doesn’t know where she will fit in at Dominican, but added she’s happy to play just about anywhere.
“I don’t really know where I’ll play yet,” she said. “Just probably not goalie or central defense.”
The Eureka senior has been playing soccer for about as long as she can remember, including time with numerous local travel teams, most recently Sequoia FC.
Tollefson also has played with the NorCal Olympic Development Program, along with Carroll, Barres, Hales and Fortuna’s Sarah Killfoil.
Tollefson also plays varsity basketball at Eureka High.