PROSPER — When Reese Cross was a little girl, she found herself drawn the world’s most popular game: soccer. Though she dabbled in other sports — basketball, volleyball and track — it became apparent that soccer was the game for her.

“It’s the competitiveness,” Cross said. “I love the fact that it’s a team sport, but it’s a contact sport as well.”

Fast-forward to her sophomore year, and her passion and dedication to the game has allowed her to continue her career at the NCAA Division I level. Recently, Cross verbally committed to play soccer at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“I fell in love with coaching staff — they are very easy to talk to,” she said about the program. “The TAMUCC campus is beautiful, and it doesn’t hurt that it is near a beach.”

Cross began her recruiting process when she was in the eighth grade, travelling across the country with her club team to play in various tournaments.

“I got the opportunity to play up in many games with some of the older teams,” she said. “My club coach wanted to ensure you had every opportunity to be seen.”

During her recruiting, Cross competed in the National Premier League, which allowed her to play in many different college showcases. She soon garnered the attention of collegiate scouts from all over, including TAMUCC, Central Arkansas, Northwestern State and Texas Woman’s University.

“It felt pretty good to know that [Division I] schools were looking at me and offering me,” she said.

After wrapping up her sophomore year under head coach Rafael Flores, she has now established herself as a prominent part of the Prosper back line. In her career with the Lady Eagles, she has started nearly every game at centerback and has registered one goal and eight assists as a defender. In just two years, Cross said she attributes a lot of her success to the Prosper soccer program.

“Coach Flores believed in me from the beginning, and I think that helped me grow as an individual on and off the field,” Cross said. “Not many high school players get to say they are playing with the best soccer players in North Texas.”

For Flores, he said he knows the value of a great defender, and Cross is no exception.

“Reese is an amazing player — definitely ferocious in the back, but can play wherever you ask her to,” Flores said. “She was a huge part of the defense this year and the progress she made from year one to year two was amazing.”

While it is still early, Cross said she is very excited to get to the next level.

“I’m most looking forward to getting to compete at a collegiate level for soccer and to study to become a nurse,” said Cross. “They have a great nursing program that is manageable while playing soccer.”

Cross will have two more years of high school eligibility before heading to TAMUCC in the Fall of 2020.

“She is fearless and plays the game with a true passion,” Flores added about Cross. “She will be an integral piece for TAMUCC — I have no doubt.”