The Illinois College community is mourning the death of a student-athlete. Soccer player Robbie Lopez passed away on Sunday.
Lopez joined the Blueboys men’s soccer team in 2016 after graduating from University High School in Normal, Illinois. He appeared in 28 matches with 20 starts in his collegiate soccer career. Robbie was diagnosed with brain cancer during the summer of 2019, right before his senior season. He was on course to earn his degree in communications and rhetorical studies before his illness put his schooling on hold.
Lopez remained on the team during the 2019 season, although he did not compete. He regularly attended matches and practices between getting chemo treatments to support his teammates as much as he could. He was also there to support his younger brother, Christian Lopez, a junior at IC and current member of the Blueboys men’s soccer team. The team also supported Lopez in his ongoing fight against brain cancer by holding several benefit events in his honor.
Blueboys soccer hosted a fundraiser for Lopez during a home match against Beloit in the 2019 season. The “Rally for Robbie” raised funds to help the family with any medical bills and expenses. The team posted flyers all over campus and sold T-shirts before and at the match. Lopez was acknowledged before the start of the contest and the crowd of teammates and the IC community showed overwhelming support for him.
Lopez will be awarded his Illinois College degree posthumously, with special recognition at this spring’s Commencement.