Soccer player from Columbia drowns in Northern Michigan University pool

Saturday, December 1, 2012 | 4:01 p.m. CST; updated 4:13 p.m. CST, Saturday, December 1, 2012

MARQUETTE, Mich. — An 18-year-old freshman on Northern Michigan University's varsity women's soccer team drowned during a team workout in a school swimming pool.

Arianna Alioto of Columbia drowned shortly before 6 p.m. Friday at the Physical Education Instructional Facility in Marquette, The Mining Journal reported Saturday.

The drowning was under investigation by school officials and authorities.

Alioto redshirted this fall while recovering from a knee injury.

"Arianna was not only a good soccer player but a wonderful young woman," head soccer coach Matt Granstrand said in a statement released Saturday afternoon.

"We felt honored that she chose to play at Northern Michigan University. Our team and our extended team family are in extreme pain. It's hard to grasp that Arianna was with us one moment and gone the next. It just doesn't seem real. Her death is devastating. We will be grieving for her loss for a long time."

Alioto was a 5-foot-3 center midfielder who had graduated from Rock Bridge High School. She also was a member of Missouri's Olympic development team, according to the newspaper.

"It's difficult to express the emotions that take place when a university family suffers the loss of a student," school president David Haynes said in a separate statement. "Not only is the soccer team and athletic department in shock, but so too are Arianna's fellow students, professors and the staff she regularly interacted with. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Alioto family at this time."

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