Lewis on signing with Swedish pro team: “I achieved my dreams”
The game of soccer has taken Ariela Lewis of Anchorage all over the country and now the prolific playmaker is headed to Sweden.
The former Alabama State University star has signed a professional contract with Skövde KIK of the country’s premier Norra Götaland League.
“I finally get to say I made it, to say I achieved my dreams,” she told me. “Honestly, it still doesn’t feel real, but it is so amazing to say that I’m going to play professional soccer.”
Lewis, of Dimond High fame, is one of the rare Alaska soccer players to advance to the pro level.
“I always dreamed of it but never actually knew it would be my reality,” she said.
Lewis will head overseas in April for a 90-day trial with the Swedish team before returning home and then going back for the season, which runs August through October.
She will be one of three NCAA D1 players from the United States to travel to Sweden for training next month.
“The way this happened was through PSC and they put on a combine in Florida and I had training every day since college and though that this would be a great opportunity,” Lewis said.
“My expectations are very little honestly. I am just so happy and grateful to get this chance.”
Last season, she led the Seattle Stars to a championship in the Northwest Premier League and finished second in the league with six goals in nine games.
At Alabama State, she netted 57 career goals and twice won Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors for the NCAA D1 program.
Lewis is looking forward to challenging herself against international competition.
“I expect high quality, technical soccer,” she said. “I’m just going in with optimism and excitement and it is a fantastic feeling.”