The Collinsville Angels youth girls soccer team played their last game of the season Saturday morning in honor of their friend and teammate Isabella Henderson.
Back in February, the 10-year-old Henderson was diagnosed with aggressive stage four cancer in her lung and part of her spine before eventually spreading to her bone marrow.
After learning about her diagnosis, Henderson hung up her cleats to begin the fight for her life.
Her teammates began organizing fundraisers and events as soon as they heard about her diagnosis. Every game has had “Isabella Strong” T-shirts for sale. The Collinsville community has helped raise money at various restaurants around town.
Saturday’s game was dedicated to Henderson.
"We are playing soccer for ‘Isabella Strong,’” Henderson's teammate Rian Lytle said. “We are playing for her because she has been diagnosed with cancer.”
Henderson’s mom, Cristina Price, was also at the game. She said her daughter has always had a love for soccer.
“Soccer has always been a big part of her life,” Price said. “Her teammates are dedicating the game to her today because even though she can't be here she plays on through them.”
Soccer coach Jason Rosser said he was devastated to learn about the diagnosis. He pledged there will always be a spot for Henderson on their team when she is ready to come back.
“It hit close to home,” Rosser said. “All our girls are like our own kids. We care a lot about them. We are with them a lot at practice and games. It's pretty hard.”
The Angels finished out their season with a 1-0 win. Players said they played their hardest with one thing in mind.
“When we win, she gets a trophy too and we want to make sure she gets first place,” Lytle said.
Henderson was able to watch every second of that win via Facebook Lives from her room at St. Jude’s in Memphis.
“They played really good and I'm really happy that they won,” Henderson said. “It's cool they did that in honor of me.”
The team said it is looking forward to seeing Henderson soon and can't wait to have her as a teammate again next season.