On Wednesday afternoon, Tolland High School senior Mariah Elliott signed a letter of intent to play soccer at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC.
Elliott, a four-year varsity player and two-time All-CCC selection, amassed a 49-8-7 regular season record and two CCC East titles during her high school career.
Converse College is a Division II program that competes in the Conference Carolinas. The Valkyries are coming off a 7-9-2 regular season record and their coach, John Constable, was named the 2012 Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year.
According to Elliott, Converse College has an up and coming program with a coach who is really changing the program around.
“When I went to visit him, he had some really nice things to say about the team, his players,” she said. “He seems like a great coach. I’m very excited to start playing for him.”
Elliott said that she didn’t know anything about Converse College until she was contacted by the school. She said that she had been looking at Eastern Connecticut State University, but it fell quickly.
“I love South Carolina,” she said. “It’s beautiful down there. It’s warm. The more I started looking into it, the farther Eastern started slipping. Converse is definitely my No. 1 and has been for a long time.”
While Elliott will be far away from her family, won’t see them at Thanksgiving, and is a little bit nervous about that, she’s still excited.
“It’s going to be a change, but I think it will be a good experience,” she said.
Not only will it be a good experience from a soccer standpoint, but also from an educational standpoint. Elliott said she’ll be pre-med or physical therapy and wants to get into sports medicine, physical therapy, or something of the like.
She said that the classes are small and that the professors do a lot of one-on-one work – which she likes.
“It’s a great learning opportunity,” she said. “It’s going to be good. When I was down there, I got to meet a lot of the professors. Some of the classes that I’d be taking, I got to meet the teachers already. They seemed really awesome. I’m really excited.”