Soccer player commits to D1 school


Kelly has impressed college coaches at Iona with her play at sweeper for the high school and club level.

by Olivia Traphagen, Staff Writer

Julia Kelly, a senior, has committed to play soccer at Iona College, a Division 1 school located in New Rochelle, NY.

Kelly is currently playing on two teams: World Class FC ECNL and the high school’s varsity soccer team. A study shows that 9 of 10 players from ECNL will play college soccer, and Julia Kelly is one of them.

“I am planning on majoring in speech pathology and minoring in special education,” Julia Kelly said. “I like that the school is fairly small and it is in a city-ish kind of area, and it is really close to New York City, for job opportunities. I don’t like how the dorms are really small.”

Her club coach is Kazbeck Tambi.  Her high school coach is Leah Jerome, a former Glen Rock athlete turned coach.

Kelly plays sweeper, a central defensive back, and is able to transition the ball to offense. She has had multiple shots on goal and a majority of assists this season.  She isn’t sure what she will be playing in college, but the coach at Iona called her a “versatile player.”

For Kelly, her first contact with Iona came last year.

“The Iona coach came to a PDA showcasing in May and, from there, they invited me to attend their clinic,” she said. “That’s when they asked me to commit.”

Julia has since visited Iona twice where she met a few of her future teammates.

“The girls were very nice and welcoming. I am really excited, especially coming in as a student athlete, to meet new and different people and experience what it is like to be out of a small town,” Kelly said.

Varsity soccer coach Leah Jerome first found out about Kelly’s commitment over the summer.

“Julia is a phenomenal player, more importantly we look to leadership from the seniors on and off the field that matters and it’s really been a pleasure working with her because she brings the next level of play to the game,” Jerome said. “Remember why you play. If you play because you love the game, no matter what obstacles you face, you will always overcome them because you are playing for something that is so important to you.”

Freshman soccer player Tess Rooney said that “Julia is very encouraging on the field during the games.”

The College of New Jersey also reached out to Kelly for both soccer and track, but she declined the offer.