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University of Cincinnati mourns loss of women's soccer player who drowned in lake

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Posted at 8:50 AM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 10:50:30-04

The University of Cincinnati is mourning the loss of a 21-year-old member of the women's soccer team who drowned at East Fork Lake on Saturday.

Allyson Sidloski, a Strongsville, Ohio native, had recently finished out her sophomore year season after taking the 2020 season off for an injury, according to a release from the University of Cincinnati Department of Athletics.

"I am absolutely crushed for the Sidloski family, our soccer team and the University," said Neil Stafford, soccer head coach at UC, in a press release. "There's no words for dealing with a tragedy on this scale. Ally was such a pillar of everything that's right about our program. A great student, gritty and resilient player and a phenomenal human being – this is an immeasurable and unspeakable loss. Our hearts go out to her family and friends and we will lift them up with our fond memories of Ally."

ODNR officials said Sidloski was hanging onto the swim platform of a boat at East Fork Lake before she went underwater Saturday evening, and she was not wearing a life jacket.

Sidloski made her collegiate debut on the pitch against East Carolina in 2019 and played in UC's American Athletic Conference Tournament opener. She was also a standout in the classroom and was named a TopCat scholar for earning a 4.0 GPA for multiple semesters.

She was the third member of her family to play soccer at the collegiate level, following her father and sister to the college sports stage.

"Our Bearcats family has suffered an extreme loss," said John Cunningham, director of athletics at UC. "We send all our prayers, love and support to the Sidloski family and will do everything we can to support them and our student-athletes as we all process and work through this tragedy. Please respect the privacy of the Sidloski's and members of our soccer team as they grieve the loss of their daughter, sister, teammate and friend."

This story was originally published by Felicia Jordan at WCPO.