Ready for Radford

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Ready for Radford

Junior Ashley Pandelides committed to Radford University for girls soccer on Jan. 27.

For a lot of kids, soccer is the sport to kick start their athleticism. Millions of little kids count down the days until their Saturday morning soccer games, and jump with joy when they score their first goal in the tiny, yellow soccer goal. After a few seasons of pee wee soccer, many kids lose their passion and move onto other sports, but for junior Ashley Pandelides, she has taken her passion of soccer from youth soccer to D1 college soccer.

On Jan. 27, Pandelides made an important life decision when she decided on Radford as her home for the four years following high school. After talking to many other predominantly D3 schools, including Randolph Macon, Bridgewater, Christopher Newport University, and Mary Washington, but Pandelides decided a D1 school was the best option for her. Radford was not only a D1 school, but also happened to be first in their Big South conference last season, which made it that much more appealing to Pandelides.

“Radford was better because they’re D1, which has a lot of perks I guess. Early registration, tutoring if I need it, they’re just a better program, and I thought it would fit me better than other ones. I really liked the campus, it was pretty. It’s a good distance away from my home. They’re number one in their conference, and they won the Big South last year, so they’re a pretty good program. Plus, they offered me a position,” she said.

Pandelides has played soccer since she was six-years-old, starting off on a team called FCV (Football Club of Virginia) Throughout the years, Pandelides has moved around from team to team, but has ended up at Herndon Thunder. According to gotsoccer.com, Pandelides’ team is ranked fifth in the state.

“I’ve been playing it just for so long, ever since I was six, so like 10 years, and I couldn’t see myself not playing it anymore and so I had to continue in college,” she said.

Not only is Pandelides a star on the soccer field, but she also brings talent and athleticism to the basketball court. As a freshman, Pandelides made varsity for both basketball and soccer.

Since Pandelides is only a junior, she doesn’t begin to practice with the team until next summer, but that doesn’t mean she won’t start prepping now. Pandelides plans to play for the high school team and continue her travel team. Pandelides plans to study physical therapy so she can help people after her soccer career is over.

“I’m going to Radford for academics, but also to play soccer, and so it’s going to be a lot of time and a lot of commitment, but I think I’m ready for it and I’m excited to see what it’s going to be like when I get there.”

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