With the first pick of the 2018 NCAA Women’s Soccer draft, the Dayton Flyers selected Madison Lovett from Team IMPACT. Lovett, a 13-year-old Miamisburg native, became the Flyer’s newest women’s soccer member as she signed her letter of intent on Thursday night in front of her new teammates, coaches and family.
“She (Madison) is a fierce soccer player, really talented young women,” said coach Eric Golz. “Her coach says she is tough as nails.”
Madison comes to the Flyer’s by way of Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit that connects children with serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic programs. In 2011, Madison was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. The women’s soccer program hosted Madison and her family for a draft night party, where she officially signed her letter of intent and became a Dayton Flyer. Before the signing, all eyes were on Madison as she watched highlights of the team and chatted about soccer with her new teammates. Golz introduced Madison to the team and judging by the grin on his face, he is overjoyed to welcome a new recruit to his program.
“This is really exciting, I feel so cool,” Lovett said.
After signing her letter of intent and joking that she didn’t know the time or date, which she left blank, Lovett received her own Dayton soccer jersey and had her official headshot taken. The Flyers welcomed Madison with open arms, and their cheers when she was introduced could be heard all across the Frericks Center. As a life-long soccer player and fan, Madison can’t wait to hang out and have fun with her new teammates.
“It’s always fun hanging out with your teammates and playing in general,” Lovett said.
To top off the night, Madison got a taste of what it is like to be a Division I student-athlete. She was interviewed by local news station, WDTN-TV.
“It’s unexplainable,” Lovett said about the experience. “This is really awesome.”
Team IMPACT brings young athletes suffering from illnesses the opportunity to become honorary members of a college team. The children get to experience the program just like a student-athlete as they attend practices, games and have the chance to sit in daily meetings and watch tape. Look out for Madison at Friday’s last women’s soccer game of the spring season against Bowling Green at 7 p.m. on Baujan Field.
Welcome to the Flyer family Madison!