By Will LeBlond
Maddie Boerman has loved playing the sport of soccer just about her entire life – and her next step will be onto a college field.
The Lansing native just recently wrapped up a decorated high school career with the Bobcats. Her list of accolades includes a trio of 1st team All-State Class C selections, a 5th team All-State pick from her freshman year, two Section IV Championships and a trip to the New York State Championship game in 2014.
Her story will continue locally, as she will be stepping onto the campus of Ithaca College on August 17th to start her career as a Bomber. The success she had with the Bobcats was certainly a big factor in IC Coach Mindy Quigg’s interest in the star midfielder, and her high school years are something she will always look back fondly on.
“I’ve been blessed to have played with so many great athletes over my five years on varsity,” said Boerman, who first donned a varsity jersey during her eighth grade year. “There hasn’t been one bad year and I’ve always enjoyed playing with those girls and we motivate each other. All five years were really memorable.”
The best out of those five years came in 2014, when Boerman was a part of the Bobcat team that made it all the way to the Class C New York State Championship game. It was the first time that she was named a New York State Sportswriters Association 1st team pick, and she was joined by teammates Shea McCartney and Sarah Gisler on the 1st team, while then freshman Kassie Riemer landed on the 3rd team.
Success should continue in her next endeavor, as the Ithaca Bombers have established themselves as a perennial power in the NCAA Division III ranks in recent years. Quigg’s program has reached the NCAA Tournament 19 times in her 23 years at the helm, which includes a trip to the National Semifinals in 2011. The level of competition will certainly grow in a few weeks’ time when the season kicks off, but Boerman knows what to expect.
“It’s going to be a different game,” said Boerman. “It’s going to be more intense and every player is going to be strong and fast. It’s a little nerve wracking, but I’m really looking forward to playing at a high level of competition.”
The learning curve could be quicker than most for Boerman, who has been able to work out with some current players thanks to her proximity to the school. And the summer has been a busy one for her, as the team’s workout plan has helped get her ready for the college game.
“You’re told what to do, so it makes things very helpful,” said Boerman about the workout plan given out to each player. “You have times for what you need to get in certain sprints and I’ve never really been used to that, but I like it because I know that it’s getting me ready for college.”
The speed of the college game will put her to the test as well, but college soccer wasn’t always in view. Her coaches during her time with the Bobcats, Eric Stickel and Ken Kutler, really motivated her to reach the next level.
“Both Coach [Eric] Stickel and Ken [Kutler] challenged me and made me realize that I wanted to play soccer in college,” said Boerman. “The two different coaching styles made me well-rounded as a person and that’s what ultimately led me to want to play soccer in college.”
After that, she needed to find a place to play and a few visits to see the Bombers play over the past few years really persuaded her to join the team.
“Two years ago I went to a game and I really liked how fast it was,” said Boerman. “Last year was when I talked to the coaches after the game and I love the way [Mindy] Quigg coaches and I was really excited about it and I knew this was the type of team I wanted to be on.”
The fit was perfect for Boerman, who was accepted into the athletic training program at IC. With the rigors of being a student-athlete on the horizon, she has been given some sage advice to get her ready for the fall.
“Definitely to work hard,” said Boerman. “I don’t want to think about what everyone else is doing and I just need to focus on myself and work hard and train hard. I’m looking forward to working hard during preseason and achieving goals.”
IC’s season will get rolling on the first weekend of September when they will face Penn State Behrend and Fredonia in Erie, Pennsylvania, but they will not play their first home game until September 13 when they will host SUNY Cortland at Carp Wood Field.