#NationalSigningDay2022: O’Brien signs to become part of the Rams soccer team at Shepherd University
On February 2, 2022, Madie O’Brien signed her National Letter of Intent to play soccer for DII Shepherd University.
O’Brien has been playing for 8 years, and is by far one of the most dedicated and hardest working players.
“A typical day for me now consists of two practices after school,” O’Brien said.
Madie is a starting keeper for the soccer team. She made multiple key stops this season, recording seven shutouts and taking the team to a record of 11-1. She has also been a part of the 2019 regional champion team, most importantly the most skilled Cyan team.
“We have never had to question her skill, talent, or ability on this team. The love and knowledge she has for the game is shown whenever she steps foot on the pitch,” said Coach Paige Pohopan and Coach Mark Lastova.
When choosing a college, O’Brien had her friends and family close in her mind. She didn’t want to move too far away from them, and, ultimately, decided against them. When she went to Shepherd, she fell in love with the campus and the town, and since the university was close to home, it was very quick to become her choice. She plans to major in engineering science and become an engineer for the Air Force.
“I love the environment, the people at Shepherd are very welcoming, and I feel that I will fit in very well there,” O’Brien said.
Madie took up the challenge to make the college team because her early coach did not predict success.
“I remember being told by him once that I did not have the skill to play in college. This really drove me to train hard and prove him wrong,” O’Brien said.
However, while her push to join college sports might not have been the most positive, her best friend and biggest supporter, Maddie Childers, was ultimately the best form of encouragement anyone could have asked for, and was a big help for her to keep pushing against those harsh words of the past.
“I have been playing with her for years and she has always been my biggest supporter and cheerleader. Even when I would doubt myself, she always believed in me,” O’Brien said.
“I am a bit nervous, but I think I am more excited than anything, I love competition and I can’t wait to see how playing at a higher level will improve my skills as a player,” O’Brien said.