Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo girls sweep college signings
Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo girls sweep college signings avatar

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For Jenna Romano the dream of playing collegiate soccer will come true Wednesday, Feb. 6, when she signs the National Letter of Intent: a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and a NCAA college institution for an athletic scholarship.

“If it wasn’t for this soccer scholarship I wouldn’t have been able to go this far financially and venture away from home for school. It is allowing me to achieve my academic goals,” said Romano, who plans to sign with Wake Forest University.

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 10.30.13 AMShe and 18 of her teammates from Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo, the recent U.S. Youth Soccer’s 2013 undefeated National League Champion, will join about 36,000  student athletes, in the signing-day festivities. They will be among roughly 3,300 young female soccer players who will sign NLI’s this year.

“It’s great to know all our hard work and pushing each other as a team over the years has really paid off,” said teammate Zoey Goralski, who will commit to UCLA.

These Chicago-area girls will seal the deal, coast to coast, with at least 18 different schools of Division I or Division II women’s soccer programs, some top-ranked – including four players going to the Big Ten, three to the ACC, two to the Big East, and one each going to the PAC-12, Big-12, and the SEC.

Chicago- area NCAA Division I women’s soccer programs stand to reap the biggest reward from this pool of female, high-school standouts. Hope D’Addario from Neuqua Valley High School and Meegan Johnston from Carmel Catholic High School will set foot on college turf at University of Illinois, while Ashley Handwork of Plainfield North High School will claim Marquette University.

“Team Chicago has produced one of the finest recruiting classes in the country for 2013,” said Nikki Izzo-Brown, head women’s soccer coach at West Virginia University.

Congratulations girls, and good luck with all of your future collegiate endeavors!

Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo at the 2012 National Championship tournament

Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo at the National Championship tournament this past summer

  • Rachele Armand of Waubonsie Valley H.S- University of Louisville
  • Bryce Banuelos of York H.S.-  West Virginia University
  • Jorie Clawson of  St. Charles North H.S.- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Hope D’Addario of Neuqua Valley H.S.- University of Illinois
  • Gianna Dal Pozzo of Neuqua Valley H.S.- University of Miami
  • Karla DiJohn of  Waubonsie Valley H.S.- Notre Dame College
  • Kiley Dunning of Metea  H.S., Indiana University- Purdue University, Fort Wayne
  • Megan Geldernick of  Metea H.S.- The Ohio State University
  • Zoey Goralski of Neuqua Valley H.S.- UCLA
  • Ashley Handwork of Plainfield North H.S.- Marquette University
  • Kaitlin Johnson of Rosary High School- Michigan State University
  • Meegan Johnston of Carmel Catholic H.S.- University of Illinois
  • Brooke Ksiazek of Neuqua Valley H.S.- Illinois State University
  • Kaela Leskovar of Plainfield North H.S.- Lee University
  • Dana Miller of Wheaton-Warrenville H.S.- Miami University of Ohio
  • Darby Moran of Hinsdale Central H.S.- University of Wisconsin-Parkside
  • Dani Pitaro of Glenbard South H.S.- DePaul University
  • Jenna Romano of  Waubonsie Valley H.S.- Wake Forest
  • Zoe Swift of Naperville North H.S.- University of Kentucky
  • Kendall Wilde of Waubonsie Valley H.S.- University of Illinois-Chicago


About Courtney Lambert

A competitive athlete in her college days, Courtney writes on events happening at state and local level. She has previous experience covering news and writing for the Jacksonville Times Union and graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in journalism.
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