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The Warrior

Athlete of the issue: Maddie Monticello

Monticello+taking+the+ball+up+while+playing+defense+for+her+club+team.+Monticello+has+been+playing+for+Eclipse%2C+a+nationally-ranked+soccer+club+based+in+Illinois%2C+for+six+years.+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Maddie+Monticello%29
Monticello taking the ball up while playing defense for her club team. Monticello has been playing for Eclipse, a nationally-ranked soccer club based in Illinois, for six years. (Photo Courtesy of Maddie Monticello)

Monticello taking the ball up while playing defense for her club team. Monticello has been playing for Eclipse, a nationally-ranked soccer club based in Illinois, for six years. (Photo Courtesy of Maddie Monticello)

Monticello taking the ball up while playing defense for her club team. Monticello has been playing for Eclipse, a nationally-ranked soccer club based in Illinois, for six years. (Photo Courtesy of Maddie Monticello)

By Kasia Blake

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After years of intense practices, countless games, and extreme commitment, Maddie Monticello is heading off to Marquette University to play for their Division 1 women’s soccer team.

Monticello has been playing soccer since the age of four. She started off playing in an AYSO park district league. When she was in seventh grade, she began to play for Eclipse, her current soccer club. Instead of playing for Lane for the girls soccer season in the spring, Monticello plays year round for her club team.

“Because of  the competitive and high level environment I have been a part of for years with my club team, I am ready to take on the college level and having to fight for playing time,” Monticello said.

As Monticello entered high school, her recruitment process began. As a freshman, she started reaching out to college coaches, as they were not able to contact her. She would email coaches with her game schedule, interests, and questions about the school’s program.

Her sophomore year, Monticello began visiting schools and meeting coaches. She was talking to several schools including Dartmouth, Saint Louis University, and Depaul, but ultimately decided on Marquette after her visit to the school’s campus.

“The minute I stepped on the campus, I knew it was the place for me,” Monticello said.

After a few months talking to coaches, visiting the campus, and researching the school, Monticello verbally committed to Marquette the summer after her sophomore year.

“I am incredibly lucky and blessed to have gotten a scholarship to continue to do what I love for the next four years in an amazing environment,” Monticello said.

She has continually found herself impressed with not only the athletic program, but the other aspects of Marquette as well.

“Marquette University has excelling academics and a community that makes you feel at home, filled with welcoming students,” Monticello said.

Some of the qualities that make Monticello fit for D1 soccer are her playing ability and fitness, as well as her mindset.

“Maddie’s greatest strength as a player is her hard work,” said Brynn Miller, one of Monticello’s Eclipse teammates. “She’s always the last one fighting to save a goal, or a ball about to go out of bounds, or another girl on their team to win the ball.”

According to her teammates, Monticello’s determination is something that sets her apart from other players on the field.

“Maddie outworks everyone she plays against and tires them out, and uses her speed well to get by people,” said Jenna Santacaterina, another one of Monticello’s teammates.

Monticello’s hard working mentality is something that she uses on and off the field. Balancing her intense athletic and academic schedules is something she has been doing for quite some time.

“I travel out to the suburbs a minimum three times a week, just for practice,” Monticello said. “Then I travel around the country for games and tournaments, causing me to miss lots of school and provides me with little to no time for school work.”

Monticello’s schedule is something that has prepared her for the next four years of being not only a committed D1 athlete, but also a committed college student.

“By finding a way to balance this schedule for the past six years, I am willing to do whatever it takes to balance and figure out my schedule in college with also playing a sport,” Monticello said.

According to Monticello, being a top athlete is not only about the decisions she makes while she is playing, but her everyday decisions as well.

“Everything you put into your body matters,” Monticello said. “Your amount of sleep matters, grades, fitness, ball skills, everything you do at this point can have an affect on you and whether or not you see the field.”

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Athlete of the issue: Maddie Monticello