Hurrle commits to D’Youville
It didn’t Ella Hurrle long to realize the NCAA Division 2 D’Youville University Saints in Buffalo would be the perfect team to join and pursue her post secondary soccer aspirations.
“I think it was after the visit when I was comparing it to other universities, one in West Virginia and Medaille in Buffalo,” the Grade 12 student at Eden said. “Their facilities were super nice compared to everywhere else. They have a well-known exercise science program which is what I am going into and it is super close to home which I like so my parents and family can come see me all the time. It’s just like home to me.”
The 17-year-old Jordan Station resident emailed the D’Youville coach about a year ago and the pair has been communicating back and forth since then.
“She came and watched me play and I did an overnight at the university with one of my past teammates, Hannah Dino,” the forward and attacking midfielder said. “I really loved the campus, the program and everything about it. She gave me an offer and here we are.”
Hurrle feels she has made great strides in her game the last few seasons.
“I started playing attacking mid recently and I think I am a good asset on the field, playing through balls with my teammates to go in for a cross or a shot. I also think I am pretty good in the air winning the ball and those are the biggest things I have improved over the last year.”
She knows there is still work to be done to be able to compete at the collegiate level.
“I have to get bigger, stronger and faster. The speed of play is definitely something that I am excited to experience. Going to Portugal and experiencing the style of play and speed of play is going to help prepare me and I have a feeling for what is coming.”
She is planning to work hard to prepare for her freshman year of NCAA soccer.
“Obviously I am going to continue to train with my team, maybe start lifting (weights) in the gym a little bit and working on my cardio because I know that is going to be a big thing in pre-season,” Hurrle said. “I will also be focusing on school too so I can keep my grades up.”
She can’t wait for her collegiate soccer career to begin.
“Something I am really excited about is meeting girls from different parts of the world. The team is very diverse. There are girls from Hawaii and Germany and I have already met one of my teammates on Instagram who is from Nebraska. I am also looking forward to the soccer side of things, getting in with the team, learning how they work and their style of play and helping to build that family environment.”
Dino is still with D’Youville and she will help with Hurrle’s transition on and off the pitch.
“She is also in the same program as me so it will be nice to have an older role model and someone I can ask questions.”
Her soccer goal is simple.
“I want to scratch out any playing time that I can and I want to make an impact in the attack because I know that is something the coach was looking for. I want to play as much as I can and take the opportunities that I get.”
Her career goal is to go to physiotherapy school.
“If that doesn’t work out, something like athletic therapy or working with a sports team.”
Eden which held a signing ceremony for Hurrle Thursday, will be sad to see her go.
“You have been an extremely dedicated student-athlete the past four years and you have set a wonderful example for all of your peers,” Eden phys-ed head Stef Pavlovich said.
Her Flyers coaches echoed those comments.
“Her initiative and drive have continuously astonished us. There is no off-season in Ella’s dictionary and the balance she has been able to maintain through her schoolwork and athletics has been incredible to observe,” coach Katie Winger said. “She is truly a scholar athlete and Ella is determined, hardworking and selfless individual who has led our team by example, both on and off the field.”
Hurrle started playing Timbits soccer when she was four and then moved on to play travel soccer with the St. Catharines Jets until the under-13 level. It was then she started playing in academy programs. She has competed with the Niagara International Football Club for the past three seasons and has trained in Portugal with the club on two different occasions.