Sarsfield to join Cleveland State
Springdale senior Marissa Sarsfield, a key defensive cog in last year's WPIAL and PIAA finalist, will continue her career at Cleveland State, where she has accepted a scholarship to play Division I soccer.
A versatile defender who finds herself most frequently lined up centrally, Sarsfield also received interest from Kent State, Carnegie Mellon and Robert Morris.
Her sister, Alexa, is a junior defender at Robert Morris.
“I talked with (Alexa) a lot. She really helped me with the whole process,” Marissa said.
“She kind of made me stray toward RMU a little bit.”
Ultimately, however, she chose the Vikings over Robert Morris with an eye toward academics. Cleveland State boasts a chemical engineering program that she is interested in entering.
“It seems like a really good fit at Cleveland,” she said.
The Cleveland State women's soccer team was founded in 2004 and finished last season with its best record at 10-7-2, a year after it posted its first winning record.
Sarsfield, one of Springdale's few returning starters, will need to recover from an injury before returning this season.
The WPIAL season opens Friday, but Sarsfield in March suffered an ACL tear while playing club soccer and hasn't been able to play competitively since.
“I was just making a cut and felt a weird pop,” she said.
Once the extent of the damage was confirmed, Sarsfield underwent reconstructive knee surgery.
After a six-month recovery process, she awaits the final go-ahead from noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Bradley.
“I'm itching to start playing again,” she said.
While admittedly a little worried about her collegiate prospects following the injury, Sarsfield said the Cleveland State coaching staff remained steadfast in their interest in her despite the injury. She committed to the program earlier this summer.
“I was a little worried at first, but I talked to them right after it happened,” she said. “They were still (interested) in me and really wanted me to go.”
Stephen Catanese is a freelance writer.