Oklahoma Wesleyan University Senior Elisa Brito has seen her fair share of challenges and opportunities in her last twenty-two years. Just a few weeks ago, Elisa received the birthday gift of a lifetime: the chance to become a professional soccer player.

Elisa’s journey to OKWU is incredible in itself. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she came to the States to begin her collegiate soccer career. After playing for three years at the university level, Elisa signed with the Lady Eagles and transferred to Oklahoma Wesleyan for her senior season. Attending OKWU, however, was not in Elisa’s original plan. She simply had agreed to accompany a couple of her friends to their college visit in Bartlesville. What Elisa could not foresee was that Bartlesville would become her home for the year ahead.

“At first, I was not interested in going to school at OKWU . . . But when I got there, there was just something about the place that changed my mind. I felt that [it was] where God wanted me. Soccer was what brought me here. I believed in the project and where they wanted to take the program, so I wanted to be part of the beginning of something special. I believe Coach Pika will put OKWU women’s soccer higher on the map, and when that happens I want to look back and be happy that I believed in it in the beginning, and that I was a part of something great.”

Elisa and the Lady Eagles hold a long list of accomplishments from their Fall 2013 season, including a regular season MCAC Conference Title, as well as a 2nd place finish in the MCAC Conference Tournament.

This spring, as Elisa’s collegiate eligibility has expired, she was contacted by FC Kansas City (FCKC) in order to train with the team in the upcoming months. Playing professionally has always been her dream, but Elisa is careful to give credit where credit is due: “This is a true blessing. This is God’s call in my life and I’m just extremely thankful for the ability that was given to me and for being able to glorify Him while representing my family and everyone who has supported me. It is not an easy journey, but with faith, hard work, and patience, things fall into place.”