By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(Feb. 6, 2014) – Freedom High School senior Siobhan O’Toole has signed her National Letter of Intent to play soccer under head coach Fran Kulas at Villanova University starting in the 2014-2015 school year.
“It’s surreal. I have always wanted to go there,” the 5-foot-8 O’Toole said. “I still cannot believe I have made it to where I am today. For years, playing a Division I sport has been a dream of mine, and I cannot believe it is actually coming true.”
A suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, O’Toole says the school’s location was ideal as her extended family lives in the area. O’Toole said the location paired with the size of Villanova were just a couple of reasons the mid-sized university were perfect for her.
“Most importantly, when I went to Villanova in the fall of 2011, I felt a sense of comfort and familiarity, and from then on I knew I wanted to a part of NovaNation,” said O’Toole who will play either midfielder or defender for Villanova.
Last fall, the Division I Wildcats stumbled in the first round of the Big East Championship quarterfinal to DePaul, 1-0. Villanova ended their season 3-5-1 in the Big East and 6-10-3 overall.
While the Wildcats were playing their final game of the season, O’Toole was finally getting a chance to relax following her senior season on the Freedom Eagles cross country team. O’Toole has run cross country for the Eagles all four years of high school competing in VHSL state events during every season.
In the spring of her freshmen year, the South Riding-native played for Freedom’s varsity soccer team, but missed running so much that in her sophomore and junior seasons she actually ran track for the Eagles.
“Before my freshman year of high school, I decided to try out for our school’s cross country team. I never had experience with running, but I thought it was a great opportunity to stay in shape for soccer,” O’Toole said. “Most importantly, my older sister, Shannon, was a senior who ran, so if I ran cross country I would be able to be on the same team as her. I tried out and to my surprise, I loved it!
“I really enjoyed running and noticed that it kept me in great shape for soccer. For my sophomore and junior year, I decided to run track instead of playing soccer,” O’Toole noted. “That way, I was able to continue to play soccer on my club team, but remain running through track at the school. I thought it was a good balance, and I loved being able to play both sports at once.”
Growing up watching her older brother and sister play soccer, O’Toole started playing the sport before she could even remember.
“Of course, I wanted to follow in their footsteps. Once I started playing, soccer became a main focal point of my life,” said O’Toole who plays club soccer for PWSI Courage 95 Gold. “It was my identity, my social life and what I did for fun in my free time. Overtime, my older brother and sister moved on to other sports, however, I continued to play. For me, soccer never gets old, and I could never get tired of playing it.”
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!