SOUTH PLAINFIELD - South Plainfield High School (SPHS) Varsity Soccer Player Amanda Yuill will play soccer at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) for the next four years. Yuill signed to play for the Division 3 school on January 19 with the support of her family, coaches, Principal Robert Diehl, and SPHS staff. Yuill played Right Back Defense on the SPHS Varsity Soccer Team for her entire high school career.
“I’m very happy,” said Yuill. “I looked at several schools in New Jersey and I liked Fairleigh Dickinson the most.”
“Amanda’s a wonderful student-athlete and just a really great kid,” said Head Girls Soccer Coach Craig Salvatore. “I think she’ll do very well. She has a very good soccer IQ. She’s gotten herself through this pandemic very fit, which lends itself to being good on the field. I think she’s going to have a great future.”
Salvatore says that it’s important for high school athletes continue to play their sport in college because it broadens their experience in many ways.
“The sport keeps them focused on not only being a good student, but meeting other kids, traveling, so when I heard that Amanda was playing for FDU, I was excited,” said Salvatore. “I hope other girls on our team follow the same route and play sports in college.”
Salvatore said COVID restrictions made the season more challenging, but that the team rose above and had an incredible season.
“COVID definitely affected us because we had to start late in August instead of June, but the team all committed to play and were ready to go when we did start in September,” said Salvatore. “Our staff, athletic director, and our trainer did a really good job of just making sure everything was in place, and they all worked hard. The girls did a great job led by the seniors, so I was extremely happy.”
Salvatore says Yuill has proven herself to be a leader on the SPHS Varsity team and says she will do well in the future.
“Amanda’s a quiet leader. She leads by example,” added Salvatore. “You see her running in town and you don’t see a lot of high school kids running down the street. I look forward to seeing her play in college. She left this team in good shape. We’ve had our best two seasons in the last decade. So, the seniors are leaving us in good shape for the future."
Yuill's advice to her younger teammates and those aspiring to follow in her footsteps is to make the decision early.
“If anyone wants to continue playing in college, it’s not worth waiting to decide because it may end up not happening,” said Yuill. “I went back and forth for so long not knowing if I wanted to continue playing in college, but I felt that I’d miss it too much to just quit. My advice to keep going in the sport that you love.”