Alyssa was a beautiful all-American teenage girl. She loved going to the mall with friends and playing soccer.
Alyssa's favorite sport was soccer, which she started playing at 3-years-old. When she moved to Parkland, she joined the South Florida United Soccer Association.
"I first met Alyssa at tryouts. From that day, Alyssa completely stood out to us," coach Caterina Yibirin said. "The coaches and I were so impressed, and we knew we had to keep an eye on her."
Alyssa played for the Parkland Soccer Club as well as for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School women's varsity team. Due to her athletic abilities and soccer training as an attacking midfielder, Alyssa was promoted to the varsity team near the end of the season.
The U.S women's national soccer team honored Alyssa during the SheBelives Cup at the Orlando City Stadium on March 7, after junior Jamie Morris, who played alongside Alyssa on the soccer team, reached out to them, stating how devoted of a soccer player Alyssa was.
To honor Alyssa as well as the 17 other victims, the women's soccer team displayed Alyssa's jersey near their home field and made posted along with shirts.
On and off the field, Alyssa was said to have the most contagious laugh and smile. Whether she was goofing around on the field or trying to make a friend's day brighter, she always did it with a smile.
Alyssa was known to be kind to everyone and only ever saw the best in people. She would frequently volunteer at the homeless shelters for children, where she would care for them and make sure to connect with each and every child. Whether she was baking special treats, such as cookies, with them or just talking to them, she made sure that she became friends with every individual, no matter their background or situation.
"She was so kind-hearted. She would reach out to these kids that were homeless. At one shelter, she would just pick them up and put them on her hip. She would bring them and engage them with icing and sprinkles. She didn't care about race or religion or anything like that; she just took what they were as a person," Lori Alhadeff said. "I believe that that is such an amazing quality - to not care about economic status or ethnicity. She just accepted people for the way they were and who they were."
Alyssa made a lasting impact on the world with her kindness and warmth. She was a friend that anyone would always be able to count on, a loving daughter, a caring sister, a determined student and committed soccer player. Most importantly, Alyssa was able to brighten anyone's day and instantly make anything better through her bright smile and contagious laugh, which her friends and family will cherish forever.
In honor of Alyssa, her coaches and friends will be helping to revitalize a soccer field at Children's Harbor and also teach the children living there some soccer drills. Children's Harbor's mission is to provide SAFE SHELTER AND SUPPORT to at-risk CHILDREN AND YOUTH, keeping brothers and sisters TOGETHER, strengthening FAMILIES and guiding YOUTH toward INDEPENDENCE.
If you would like to donate to the soccer supply drive in honor of Alyssa, please CLICK HERE.