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York junior Madison Van Dyke and her teammates on York’s girls soccer team came up a game short of reaching the Group 3A state tournament last June after losing to John Champe 6-1.
However, the disappointment felt by Van Dyke, who was named a first-team All-State player for Group 3A, from the loss was softened slightly in July, when she verbally committed to Division I Longwood University.
Giving credit to her coaches and parents, Van Dyke was able to commit early to the Lancers as a sophomore after getting to know the Longwood coaching staff and seeing what the school had to offer academically.
“[The coaching staff and players on the team] were all really nice and … gave me good advice,” she said. “The campus isn’t too big and it’s not too small. I’ll be closer to my professors because there won’t be as many people in the classes.”
Van Dyke, who plays forward for York but will play goalkeeper for Longwood, said committing to play college has allowed her to spend her final two seasons focused on bringing the Falcons to a state championship.
Now an upperclassman, Van Dyke plans to take on more of a leadership role to some of the younger players, whom she praised as having potential, joining the team this year.
Moreover, she plans to end this season on a higher note than last year’s blowout loss, which she said should not have played out like it did.
“[The loss] made me want to come back … and train harder than I did in previous seasons,” she said. “I felt like we should have won the game and we should have done better. It makes me want to push harder for this season.”