Kaylee Hillard has known for years that she would one day like to be a college soccer player.
When she joined the Long Island-based Albertson Fury two years ago, Hillard became aware that she could play on the highest level as an NCAA Division I scholarship athlete.
Hillard signed a Letter of Intent on Wednesday to accept an athletic scholarship from American University in Washington, D.C., and will also take part in a signing ceremony at the high school Friday. The school celebration was pushed back from Wednesday after school was closed because of snow.
American became Hillard’s clear favorite college choice over the past two years when she attended camps there and also made her official recruiting visit and another unofficial visit to the campus. She plans to study exercise physiology.
Although she played midfield for the Black Knights, Hillard was recruited for her play as an outside forward on her club team. She will continue this spring with the Fury, which plays in league games on the East Coast and has traveled to tournaments as far away as Florida, Chicago, Colorado and California during her time with the team.
“I think as a whole it’s really important to develop as a player before going into college because it’s a different experience and environment,” Hillard said. “So, right now I’m really just trying to work on everything from touches and skill works to fitness, which is another real big thing when you get into college.
“I’ve been doing a lot of cross training to prepare myself.”
Hillard was a first-team Wyoming Valley Conference coaches’ all-star selection after helping Lake-Lehman go 11-4 this fall.