Kirtland senior Maddie Zuberer set some lofty goals for her final year defending the Hornets’ net.
She hoped to win a district title, which the Hornets did by beating both Hawken and Gilmour Academy for the first time in school history, and she had her sights set on the All-Ohio team for a second straight season. She reached that goal by leading the Hornets to the Division III state semifinals.
On Monday, the four-year starter was surprised to learn she was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American.
“It feels amazing to receive this honor,” she said. “It exceeded the goal I had set for myself at the beginning of the season. I had goals for receiving all-state recognition and going far in the playoffs, so being an All-American came as a nice surprise.”
Zuberer, who will continue her education and playing career at Louisiana Tech University, was a four-time All-Chagrin Valley Conference performer and was named league MVP in 2014. She also received all-district recognition as a sophomore and was named All-Ohio as a junior and senior. In 2015, Zuberer was named Division III District Player of the Year and Greater Cleveland Player of the Year.
Zuberer finished her career with a 54-14-9 record and started every game for the Hornets since taking over the position as a freshman. She allowed just 48 goals in 77 games and posted 46 shutouts.
“Maddie has been such an important part of our soccer program over these past four years,” said Kirtland coach Ed Bradac. “She has been a leader both on the soccer field and in the classroom. When you watch Maddie play, the first thing you notice is just the competitive edge that she brings each and every game. She's very aware of what she has meant to our women's program and what she has meant to our younger players. She has been such a key piece to our foundation and is very deserving of all of the accolades that she has received this year. The womens coaching staff could not be happier for her and her family.”
Zuberer also excels in the classroom.
She carries a 4.08 grade point average and is ranked No. 10 in her class.
Leaving behind her teammates to attend school and play soccer in Louisiana won’t be easy but she hopes the returning Hornets continue to raise the bar for the Kirtland girls’ soccer team.
“My advice to the girls is to believe in yourself as a player and to believe in your team,” she said. “You have to trust them to have your back and that they also have that same trust in you. Also, don't be afraid to make a mistake. There are plenty of mistakes made in every game played. Some may be little and some may be bigger, but don't let those mistakes define you as a player. My last piece of advice is enjoy every moment of these four years because they go by fast. The memories created will last a lifetime, but playing the game of soccer unfortunately doesn't.”
With her high school career behind her, Zuberer knows what’s ahead of her if she wants to make an impact at Louisiana Tech.
Carrying the title of High School All-American certainly has provided her with the confidence and inspiration to do what’s necessary to achieve her college goals.
“I still know that I will have to work hard day in and day out in college competing for a spot,” she said. “But, this definitely helps me believe in myself and the potential I have. I'm very excited to enter the really competitive environment and ready to see where it takes me.”