Veterans High had three sign soccer scholarships at the school Thursday. They were: Sage Sammeli, Victoria Moore and Malory Monroe. Sammeli chose Southeastern Louisiana University. Moore is headed to Georgia Southwestern University and Monroe’s preference was Warren Wilson College.
She – Monroe – chose to play for the Lady Owls, a team that finished 4-7-1 this past season, for starters, because of the “mountains”. And there was: “location, location, location – the Swannanoa, North Carolina location. “The campus is beautiful and it’s not far from Asheville, so there is always something to do.
“Warren Wilson also has great science programs (she plans on majoring in environmental studies),” she said. “So that was great for me.”
Recruiting-wise, Monroe said third-season Head Coach Lydia Vandenbergh saw strengths in her “touch” and “vision”, which, said the young lady who began playing at age 7 – her sister was an influence when she played in high school as well – “is what they were looking for in recruits.”
Moore on the other hand, said she opted for the GSW Lady Hurricanes because the campus is small, it’s the “perfect” distance from home and, “I love some of the unique classes they, such as ‘glassblowing’.”
She will be joining a squad that finished 0-16 last year. That obviously means she’ll have an opportunity to contribute and in fact, she said, the coaches loved the fact she’s a “responsible” goalkeeper who will give them a “great sense of security in front of the goal.”
They also liked the “independence” of the young lady who has been playing soccer for 12 years – she said her parents offered her that or “gymnastics” – she chose soccer, the position of “keeper” and has “loved it ever since” – and plans on majoring in biology.
Finally, the Lady Lions out of Hammond, Louisiana made Sammeli feel “at home. I got to meet my future teammates and they were so welcoming. They were telling me how the team (one that finished 5-10-3 last year) was their family now.
“That, and the coach offered me a lot of money,” she added lightheartedly. “I felt as though God has made a purpose for my life in Southeastern Louisiana University and I am so excited to live that out.”
Sammeli went on to add that she owed all of her soccer ability and talent to God, that in blessing her with her “dad.”
“Since day one, my dad has been my number one fan. I told him once when I was about eight that it was my dream to play soccer and since then my dad (has) sacrificed so much for me to fulfill my dreams.
“I am indescribably thankful and grateful for my dad. He is why I am where I am today.”
Sammeli has not decided what she will major in yet, but as far as what the coaches saw in her strength-wise, it was her ability to create opportunities and provide the team with goal-scoring ones.