Larkin signs with Concordia

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By TAYLOR GRAFFT

Senior Skylar Larkin has been dedicated to the game of soccer since she was four years old. She’s traveled all across the state of Texas and around the country with her various teams, improving her skills through hard work and determination in hopes of one day fulfilling her dreams.

So when the idea of not playing soccer past high school crossed her mind it seemed silly to waste a lifetime of commitment to the game.

“I love to play, and I couldn’t imagine putting in all those years of hard work and not taking it as far as I could,” Larkin said.

On Feb. 27, Larkin celebrated with her family, friends, and teammates in the Liberty Hill High School cafeteria for her commitment to play college soccer at Concordia University in Austin.

“Since I started playing soccer at the age of four, it was the one thing I had been working for all these years,” Larkin said. “Ever since I moved to Liberty Hill, none of my friends played soccer and they all knew I played a lot. It was a great feeling to have them all celebrate the years of hard work that I’ve put in to get to this point in my life.”

Her recruitment and decision process was a year-long struggle to determine which school and program would best fit her needs. Like most student-athletes trying to determine where to spend their next four years, Larkin wasn’t only looking at the athletic side of things, but equally focused on the academics and atmosphere.

Larkin wasn’t alone in her decision-making process however. She had the help of her parents and her club coaches from the Lonestar Soccer Club based in Austin.

“Since Liberty Hill had no soccer team until last year, the idea of playing soccer in college came from my parents and the coaches I’ve played for at Lonestar Soccer Club, Ciaran Maguire and Peter McCann. My parents always pushed me, but ultimately it was my decision. My parents would make suggestions, but they really emphasized it was all about my future, and to be happy with the decisions I would make. Lonestar is a huge club with approximately 40 full-time coaches. They have a very organized college placement program with a team of coaches that guide you through the process of figuring out the best fit for your needs.”

“There was never a time when college was talked about that your grades weren’t emphasized as the first priority,” Larkin added. “Lonestar really put it into perspective. They would say to make sure you found a school that fit your academic needs first, because once you’re done with college, chances are your competitive soccer days are over.”

Concordia first showed interest in Larkin in April 2014 when she was participating in the Memorial Day Cup in Houston, Texas. Larkin sent out letters and invited a few different college coaches to watch her play in the tournament. Concordia was one of the schools that contacted her after the tournament concluded.

A few months later in July Larkin took a visit to the campus and met with the head coach Heather Primavera.

“I met with Coach Primavera and she gave me a tour of the campus,” Larkin said. “At that time I really didn’t have high expectations, but I wanted to make the visit to be sure I searched out all my options. I toured the entire campus including the dorms, the athletic facilities, and the business school and fell in love with Concordia because it offered everything I wanted in a school.”

Larkin also mentioned that Concordia was building a brand new soccer complex on campus, and that helped in the decision-making process.

It wasn’t just the business school, new soccer complex, and atmosphere that conceived Larkin to commit to Concordia, but also the proximity to home and fun amenities that Austin has to offer.

“I knew I wanted to stay in central Texas because most of the time we have perfect, warm weather,” Larkin said. “I also love the Austin area with all the variety of restaurants to try, and all the outdoor activities to do like paddle boarding.”

Larkin is expected to play defense at the college level, possibly at left or right back, but she says there’s a possibly she could move to centre back or central midfield.

Concordia’s soccer season starts in the middle of August before classes even begin. Larkin has already talked with Coach Primavera and expects to receive a summer workout schedule so that when she arrives to campus in the fall she’ll be prepared and conditioned for the preseason.

Larkin says she intends to major in finance with a minor in mathematics. She also hopes to be a part of a few on-campus clubs and help out the community.

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