Maroudas makes Colgate smile
Playing NCAA Division 1 soccer has been on Demi Maroudas’ radar for more than five years.
The 17-year-old Niagara-on-the-Lake native joined the Western New York Flash in Grade 8 and almost immediately began to get interest from American scouts.
“My club is very fortunate that we play in the ECNL (Elite Clubs National League) and the ECNL hosts multiple showcases a year,” she said. “I have been attending three of them a year since Grade 8 and there’s so many coaches who come to them.
“They would email me, email my coach and after I got interest from a bunch of universities, I figured it was a possibility for me. I reached out to many of them, we had conversations and that’s when I figured out I could do it.”
On Wednesday, the Grade 12 student at Eden will make her hopes a reality when she signs a letter of intent to play NCAA Division 1 soccer with the Colgate Raiders in the Patriot League.
“It will be such a cool experience to experience soccer and school at the same time,” she said. “It’s really competitive and that’s why chose the NCAA over universities in Canada,” she said. “And I love soccer and I have wanted to play Division 1 soccer for a very, very long time.”
Deciding on Colgate was an easy choice for Maroudas. She had other interested colleges but Colgate ticked all the boxes and was a perfect fit of great school, incredible campus and amazing coaching staff.
“Colgate is a great school and I am really looking forward to going there,” the the 5-foot-5 forward said.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been unable to visit the campus in person but she did manage to go on a virtual tour. She loves everything about her new home.
“Colgate is an excellent school and that is what is important to me. I wanted to go to a great school and Colgate is really known for its academics.”
Maroudas, who has a high school average is in the 90s, plans to major in biology as a first step on her way to attending dental school.
It also helps that the school is somewhat close to home.
“I believe it is only about four hours away which is really nice. They have an excellent coaching staff and soccer program which is also appealing to me.”
Hamilton, N.Y., is located 40 miles southeast of Syracuse and is looks and reminds Maroudas of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
She can’t wait to get started on the next step of her soccer journey.
“I am definitely excited and looking forward to it but I’m also looking forward to enjoying my senior year at Eden”.
She describes her style of play as attack oriented.
“I like attacking the net as much as possible, but at the same time I know when to build up out of the back,” as he said. “I think I am really good at connecting with players and I love playing that give-and-go type of style.”
Maroudas feels those skills will translate well at the university level.
“I have always believed that if I am doing my best and working my hardest, I will be able to achieve whatever I want. I very much believe that I will be able to do that.”
She’s not taking anything for granted and is continuing to work in preparation for next season.
“I have to keep training hard, being the best that I can be, and maybe get a little stronger. I have been working out at the gym, doing lifts and stuff, so hopefully that will help with my game as well.”
Maroudas started in the Niagara-On-The-Lake house league when she was three and then played travel soccer with Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines Jets and Niagara United.
When she was training with Niagara-on-the-Lake, there were a couple of her teammates who were also playing for the Flash in Buffalo.
“They were looking for another striker and one of the dads came up to me and told me to come out. I did and it was great exposure and a lot more competitive than it was over here.”
The COVID-19 pandemic ended her training and competitive 2020 season with the Flash but she has been able to train with the some of her Canadian Flash teammates at Youngs Sportsplex in Welland.
“Until we can get back over to the States, that is what we are going to continue to do.”
Scheduled league games in November and December have been pushed back into the spring and a showcase tournament in December has also been postponed,
“That kind of sucks but I am really looking forward to going back soon.”