By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(March 5, 2014) – Briar Woods High School senior Elizabeth Reid has committed to join head coach Sandy Lagana and play soccer for McDaniel College starting in the 2014-2015 school year.
Reid noted Lagana and the whole McDaniel community are fantastic even if the school population is smaller than the population of a school where she had originally expected to attend.
“I chose McDaniel because it had everything I wanted in a college,” said the 5-foot-6 Reid. “It had the academic quality and potential majors I was looking for, as well as a tight-knit community. And of course, they wanted me to play soccer for them. I knew I wanted to realize my dream of playing collegiate soccer, but I never imagined that I’d find a place as perfect as McDaniel.”
Reid was drawn to McDaniel because she said it is recognized as a highly successful academic institution.
“McDaniel also has great flexibility in their major selections, which has spiked my interest in double-majoring in political science and sociology and double minoring in forensic science and classical civilizations,” Reid said.
Still preparing for her college life, Reid will continue to study and play soccer at Briar Woods High School until her graduation in June.
During her junior season with Briar Woods, the Falcons went 19-5-1 making a run all the way to the VHSL AA state final before being knocked off by newly established powerhouse Woodgrove High School. Head coach Ann Vierkorn and her squad will have to overcome a conference realignment and the graduation of Tori Panzica and Kaleigh Chiodini, but will continue to push her team day in and day out.
Reid is one of eight Falcon seniors to commit to play college soccer and one of seven on the Briar Woods’ girls soccer team.
“I expect another legendary run from Briar Woods. We came so close last year, and I know that silver medal has been eating at everyone since we got it,” said Reid who plays club soccer for the CYA HotShots. “We only lost two seniors, so we’ll be coming in with a strong team that’s looking to finish what we started. We’re a very close team, and I know we’re all motivated towards the same goal. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a very good season.”
While McDaniel College’s season ended prematurely in 2013, the Division III Green Terror had a successful regular season finishing 13-6-1 and posting a 6-4 record in the Centennial Conference.
“What Coach Lagana first noticed about me was my speed. I was fast getting to the ball, fast recovering and fast attacking,” said Reid who will play defense for the Green Terror. “I’ve also been training for several years with HP Elite and Beyond, which has given me great foot skills and a talent for finesse with the ball at my feet. I’m a very calm player under pressure, and Coach Lagana thought I could make an immediate impact on the program at McDaniel.”
The Maryland-native started playing soccer when she was four years old after her mom found her to be “bouncing off the walls” and needed a way to wear her out. Less than a decade later, Reid realized her skill and told her mom that she would play college soccer someday.
“I ended up having a real talent for soccer, and the love of the game kept me going until I was about twelve. Once I hit middle school, I realized that there was another side to playing soccer,” Reid said. “I had seen the US Women’s National Team play on TV, but I never made the connection that I could become that good. Middle school made me realize that I could play in high school and college and not give up the game I had come to love.”
Unfortunately, Reid reminisced and said her mom did not believe at the time that Reid would one day compete at the collegiate level.
“That dream of becoming a collegiate athlete, representing my school, is what has kept me going through the endless grueling hours of fitness and practice and tactical training. I’m also naturally a very driven person, so when I set my sights on college soccer, nothing was going to stop me short of a career-ending injury.”
Reid noted her sights are often so set on soccer at the next level that she forgets she has made her commitment to McDaniel already.
“It feels really strange to be committed actually. All of the pressure was lifted with one phone call and an acceptance letter,” Reid said. “I keep checking my calendar for the next application due date or the next SAT date, and then I realize that I don’t have to take any more tests or fill out any more applications. I’m still going to tournaments, but the anxiety of being seen by college coaches isn’t there anymore. The infamous “senioritis” hasn’t hit me just yet, but I’m sure it will as Briar Woods gets further into the playoffs.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!