By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Intern
(October 18, 2013) – Heritage High School senior Natalie Perussault has committed to play soccer for the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall of 2014.
“Once I was able to visit UMass, I knew right away it was the school for me,” Perussault said. “UMass Amherst is an outstanding school for academics and has a fantastic soccer program. After visiting the school, seeing the campus and visiting the town, I knew right away this was the school I wanted to go to.”
The DI Minutewomen – who are 6-7-2 this season following a mid-afternoon win on Friday, October 18 over Rhode Island – have made more NCAA tournament appearances than all but two teams all-time.
Perussault earned second team All-State honors in 2011 as a freshman, adding both first team All-Region II and All-Dulles District credits to her resume. In 2012 and 2013, she also was recognized as a first team All-District performer.
“For [Heritage] this season I have big expectations. We have some really talented players on our team this year,” said Perussault who plays club soccer for FC Virginia ECNL U18. “Although some of our strong players graduated, I think we are capable of going far if every single player puts in the effort needed. There are a lot of good teams in our district but I without a doubt think we are able to go far.”
With support from Pride fans, the girls at Heritage hope to put together a season as memorable as their run in the 2011 state tournament where they lost in the state semifinal. Perussault, who was a freshman during their magical run, says her support comes in the form of her mom.
“Everything she has done for me with school and soccer, I really wouldn’t be able to play college soccer if it wasn’t for her,” the Georgia-native said. “The amount of games and practices she has drove me to, listened to me complain, motivated me; she’s an amazing woman. If I am ever able to be half as good of a person as she is I really would be blessed.”
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. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete.