Local soccer star heads to U.S. college

Summerland’s Taylor Pinto is about to embark on what could be the adventure of a life-time.

Taylor Pinto will suit up for Warner Pacific college soccer team in the U.S. next season.

Taylor Pinto will suit up for Warner Pacific college soccer team in the U.S. next season.

Summerland’s Taylor Pinto is about to embark on what could be the adventure of a life-time.

The local soccer stand-out, who currently plays for Kelowna United 21 reserves, has committed to pursue her sport south of the border at Warner Pacific, a college in Portland, OR.

When Pinto, who plans to study human kinetics, suits up for the Knights, she will be playing in the Cascade Collegiate Championship, part of the National Association of the Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II.   According to the school’s web site, Warner Pacific has claimed three regular season and four conference tournament championships in men’s and women’s basketball and men’s soccer since 2006.

So she is by all accounts joining a program that has had some success.

Warner Pacific scouted Pinto during a tournament in Seattle last November. She committed to the school after visiting its campus located in Portland’s urban core. “I went there to check it out and I really liked it,” she said.

The school founded in 1937 bears the name of Daniel Sidney Warner, who helped found the Church of God (Anderson), a non-denominational church movement with ties to Wesleyan methodism.

The school promises “a rigorous liberal arts education in an urban setting” coupled with “a service-oriented, faith-based approach to community outreach and personal transformation.”

While Pinto freely admits she is “not religious at all,” she does not anticipate any issues in fitting in on campus.

But she does admit that living in Portland could be an interesting experience.

“I’m nervous for sure because I haven’t lived anywhere besides Summerland,” she said. “So it should be a big change.”

But if Pinto admits to being nervous, she is also looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.