As Maddie Eddleman started to consider her future in college, she focused on schools like the University of Alabama-Birmingham and the College of Charleston. She’s from the South. She always pictured going to college there, too.
An email this past Thanksgiving changed all that, altering the trajectory of her college search and culminating in the sophomore forward on Lambert's girls' soccer team verbally committing to the University of Vermont this past Monday.
“It feels good to be done with the process,” Eddleman said, “but also be completely positive that I made the right decision.”
Eddleman first got Vermont’s attention at a tournament over the Thanksgiving break. Vermont was there scouting another player on another field, but they noticed Eddleman too. Soon they were emailing Eddleman, inviting her to attend one of the team’s camps.
“I was like, ‘Well, might as well,’” Eddleman said.
She made the trip on Valentine’s Day weekend, and the first thing she noticed was the weather.
“It was cold, of course,” she said, “and that kind of scared me.”
But, quickly, she was impressed. She stayed with Catamounts players in one of the school’s dorms. She got to know head coach Kristi Lefebvre and her staff more. She got a look at the campus.
“I just really liked it,” Eddleman said. “It fit me well.”
Vermont thought Eddleman was be a good fit too. They called her the day she got home to offer a scholarship.
Eddleman was excited but hesitant, so she asked if she could visit again. Eddleman and her dad flew up to the Burlington, Vt., campus this past Sunday and took a thorough look around.
On Monday, they met with the coaches. Eddleman committed on the spot.
“The coaches are the nicest people,” Eddleman said. “I love them. It was just all-around a good fit.
“It feels great [to commit]. Not a lot of people get to say they commit as a sophomore. It’s really flattering, and I’m so thankful for their coaches, especially since I didn’t even reach out to them. They took the initiative.”