Three Laramie County Community College women’s soccer players have signed a letter of intent to continue their collegiate soccer careers.
On April 25, midfielder Natalie de Marco (Canberra, Australia), midfielder Elise Atkins (Haxtun, Colorado) and defender Lauren Passini (Sheridan, Wyoming) all signed on with four-year colleges.
de Marco signed with Mount Royal University, located in Calgary, Canada. She assisted on 18 goals and added in five goals herself during her two years as a Golden Eagle while starting in all 43 games that she played in.
de Marco said she plans on earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is hoping to help her new team win more games then they did last year. Mount Royal plays in the Canada West Organization and finished the 2017 season with a 4-6-4 record.
Atkins will join West Texas A&M University, a Division II school located in Canyon, Texas. The Lady Buffs are part of the Lone Star Conference and finished its season with a 11-7-5 record.
The Lady Buffs finished the season strong by beating number one seeded Angelo State 1-0 in the LSC Championship game. They would go on to beat Angelo State 1-0 again, facing them in the NCAA South Central Regional first round. The Lady Buffs would eventually lose to UC-Colorado Springs 1-0 in the second round.
Atkins played in 42 games for the Golden Eagles while scoring 12 career goals and assisting on five others. Atkins said she plans on earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing and believes her time at LCCC has prepared her for this next step.
“I think LCCC prepared me well in both academics and on the soccer side of it,” Atkins said. “Academically I’ve taken all my pre-recs (prerequisites), so I’m getting ready to go into nursing and I should only have one semester left. For the soccer, (head coach Jim) Gardner has done a very good job of preparing me on how to play an outside wing position and to play at the level required for Division II.”
Passini signed her letter of intent with the University of Sioux Falls, a Division II school located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Passini started 42 games in her two season for the Golden Eagles.
Passini will be joining a Cougars team that went 5-9-4 in the 2017 season. Like Atkins, Passini intends on earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Passini said she believed that the two-year college environment at LCCC has prepared her for this next step and that Sioux Falls is just the right fit for her.
“I was talking to them (Sioux Falls) my senior year of high school and I really like the program, the coaches and the environment there,” Passini said.
All three players said that Gardner not only helped them on the field as soccer players but instilled in them to always be true with themselves and follow their own path.