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Western Reserve Academy senior Zoe McCormick, a Hudson resident, recently made a verbal commitment to attend Cornell University (N.Y.) in the fall of 2015 where she intends to continue her soccer career.
Cornell is a familiar setting for McCormick -- both her parents are graduates -- and the balance of academics and athletics appealed to her.
"Cornell is a great academic school, especially the engineering school, which I am interested in," McCormick said. "After my visit, I felt that I belonged at Cornell. The campus is beautiful and with both my parents having graduated from there. The school was familiar to me and has been on my list for a long time.
"Cornell, like WRA, has the right balance for me between academics and athletics. The women's soccer program brought in Patrick Farmer, a well-known coach, a few years ago and the program has been on the rise in the past couple years.
The team looks to have a bright future with great players coming in. I feel like I can contribute and make a difference there on the soccer field, as well as expand upon the same kind of rigor in the classroom that I have experienced at Reserve."
The school should prove to be a good fit for McCormick, according to Director of College Counseling Jeffrey Neill.
"We are excited for Zoe in finding Cornell to offer the right combination of athletics and academics," he said. "She will be able to continue her soccer career in the Ivy League, playing for the Big Red while also pursuing a degree in engineering."
During her junior season with the Pioneers, McCormick was named the team's Most Valuable Player.
She also was an All-Ohio second team selection. She is only the third WRA player ever named to the All-Ohio squad.
McCormick also was a first-team member of the All-District Greater Akron team.
"Zoe is probably the smartest player we have had in my 12 years here as coach," WRA head girls soccer coach Joe DiBiase said. "She is definitely the best defender we have had, the best at finishing a goal with her head, the best playmaker and among a very short list of players who make those around her better."
As she prepares for her senior season, McCormick is eager to return to the special atmosphere that surrounds athletics at WRA.
"The best part about athletics at WRA is being able to represent the school with my best friends and classmates," she said. "Gearing up to take on traditional school rivals [and beating them] with my teammates while representing Reserve is a huge part of what I love about soccer and WRA soccer in particular.
"We have a great competitive group of hard-working tough players. We have a lot of fun and we surprise a lot of teams with the quality of soccer we play.
"There's really no way to describe the Reserve athletic scene, the soccer program in particular, to do it justice.
"I have simply had some of my best Reserve memories playing with the girls soccer team and I plan on having many more this year."
To learn more about the work that the College Counseling Office does at Western Reserve Academy, visit wra.net.