Durant’s own Caroline Loyd will kick her soccer career up a notch when she joins the roster at Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa this fall.
Loyd, surrounded by parents, coaches and teammates, accepted an offer to play at the two-year school. A short scholarship-signing ceremony was Tuesday at Durant High School.
“It feels great,” Loyd said. “Everyone’s here to support me and I’m thankful. This has always been one of my goals to play at the college level.”
Loyd was a center midfielder for head coach Jeff Garrett’s Lady Lions, who just wrapped up their season not long ago.
Now, Loyd will jump into the collegiate realm with the Lady Mavericks, who play their games in the fall. First-year NOC-Tonkawa soccer coach Joshua Smith said he saw two outstanding aspects of Loyd’s game.
“First, her vision of the field and ability to work passing lanes correctly,” he said. “The other is her tenacity. She isn’t afraid of contact and can push people around if she needs to, even if they are five or six inches taller.”
The Lady Mavs reached the national soccer tournament in 2011 and finished ranked 16th in 2012 before an 8-6-1 season in 2013. Loyd looks forward to adding her skills this August.
“They have a really good soccer program,” she said. “It feels like a really good place to go.”
She credits Garrett and assistant coach Crystal Thompson for teaching her the skills to advance.
“The coaches here are really great, and the support of my teammates has been great too,” Loyd said.
Parents Gracie and Eddie Loyd pointed out that their daughter will be receiving a diploma of distinction and is an honors graduate of the DHS class of 2014.