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Franklin Regional's LeDonne to continue soccer career at IUP

| Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star
Cassidy LeDonne (center) signs her National Letter of Intent to play soccer at IUP on May 29, 2014, at Franklin Regional High School. Pictured with LeDonne are her father, Lou (left), and mother, Terri (right).

Cassidy LeDonne fielded many college soccer scholarship offers over the past two years, including several from Division I universities. When it came time to make her final decision, she decided she liked the options a Division II college gave her.

LeDonne, a member of the Franklin Regional girls soccer team, signed a National Letter of Intent to play next season at IUP.

“I wanted to like the school off the field and on the field,” LeDonne said. “IUP also has a very good accounting program, and that's what I'm majoring in. ... I still don't know if accounting is right for me, but that's what I'm going in as. I wanted to have a school that had a lot of options for me in case accounting wasn't the major for me.

“I had to pick a school that had many options for majors, and the size of the school was very important to me. I just really, really liked the coaches at IUP. They made me feel at home.”

LeDonne said IUP first contacted her a few years ago.

Her recruitment increased in intensity after she began playing with the Beadling Soccer Club two years ago. The traveling club, based in Bridgeville, frequently draws Division I recruits. She joined the club in order to get more exposure to college coaches.

“I started talking to Division I schools (after joining Beadling) because they traveled a lot, so I was being showcased all over the country,” LeDonne said. “That's when (the recruiting process) really started for me.”

A handful of Division I colleges offered LeDonne scholarships, including Duquesne, Robert Morris, St. Bonaventure and Youngstown State. Division II schools also recruited her heavily.

LeDonne said the school's location was important for her because she didn't want to travel too far from home for college. At the beginning of her senior year, she narrowed her choices to Duquesne, IUP, Robert Morris and Slippery Rock, and she made her decision for IUP in December.

“I was already familiar with the campus because my sister goes there and my mother was an (alumna),” LeDonne said. “But (coach Adel Heder) showed me the campus and I met some of the players, and they talked to me about what preseason is like. ... (Heder) just gave me a feel for what it would be like on a typical day on the IUP soccer team.”

IUP competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference. The Crimson Hawks finished 9-8-1 in 2013, missing out on the PSAC Tournament. That snapped a streak of nine straight PSAC Tournament appearances.

“I definitely wanted to go to a team that has success,” LeDonne said. “At IUP, I hope to make an impact and help the team do well, as they did this past season. That does help me decide where to go.”

LeDonne played center back and center midfielder at Franklin Regional, and she said she expected to play mostly center back at first at IUP.

She said she received a summer workout packet from the IUP coaches, and she expects to join her new teammates on campus in August.

“I feel like I'm definitely ready for it,” she said. “Through all four years of high school and especially Beadling, they definitely prepared me for what it would be like in college. I'm definitely really excited to be a member of the IUP soccer team.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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