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College soccer player, 21, dies after drowning in Ohio lake

University of Cincinnati soccer player Ally Sidloski was described by one of her coaches as a "phenomenal human being."
/ Source: TODAY

The University of Cincinnati is mourning the death of student-athlete Allyson "Ally" Sidloski.

The 21-year-old Cincinnati Bearcat women's soccer team member drowned Saturday in a lake at East Fork State Park in Bethel, Ohio, according to NBC affiliate WLWT. Sidloski's body was recovered by search crews early Sunday morning.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said Sidloski was last seen hanging onto the swim platform of a boat before disappearing into the water, according to WLWT. She had not been wearing a life jacket.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, the department said.

Sidloski was described by soccer head coach Neil Stafford as a "phenomenal human being."

"I am absolutely crushed for the Sidloski Family, our soccer team and the University," Stafford said in a press release on the Bearcats website. "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," he added.

A native of Strongsville, Ohio, Sidloski was the third member of her family to play soccer at the collegiate level, following her father, David, who played for Cleveland State University, and her sister Katie, who played for Indiana State University and Cleveland State.

Sidloski didn't play during the 2020 season, which took place this spring, because of an injury.

Sidloski was also recognized for her academic success at UC. She was named one of the school's "TopCat" scholars in multiple semesters for achieving a 4.0 GPA, the school noted in its press release.

"Our Bearcats family has suffered an extreme loss," John Cunningham, the school's director of athletics, said in a statement. "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."

Sidloski is survived by her parents, David and Tracie, and two sisters, Katie and Nicole.