Minnetonka midfielder Ellie Crowell picks Ivy League college
Minnetonka High girls soccer tri-captain Ellie Crowell has accepted an offer to play at an Ivy League school next season.
Cornell University, an NCAA Division I school, in Ithaca, N.Y. is her destination for the fall of 2013.
“My recruiting process was long and kind of up and won,” Crowell said last week. “One minute someone loves you. The next minute they find someone else. I went into it with an open mind and worked toward finding the best education to set me up for the future.”
With an Ivy League school, she can hardly go wrong.
“I will be playing a high level of soccer and also getting a great education,” said Crowell, whose older sister Megan will graduate from Cornell next spring.
Minnetonka High soccer coach Jeff Hopkins enjoyed his best season ever this year with an 11-2-5 mark. One reason was Crowell’s knack for making plays.
In addition to scoring 11 goals, she was the team leader in assists. The Minnesota Soccer Coaches Association recently named Crowell All-State for the second year in a row.
“Ellie is an excellent playmaker, who always makes good decisions with the ball,” said coach Hopkins. “She is a student of the game and our center cog. It has been a pleasure to coach her and watch her for four years. Ellie is a true leader.”
Crowell was a two-way midfielder, Hopkins added. She was able to win a lot of 50-50 balls and generate attacks off of those pickups, and she could defend well when the ball crossed into her own end.
“You couldn’t find a better teammate than Ellie,” said Minnetonka’s All-State senior goalie Lizzy Crist. “She has played great since her ninth-grade season, and she always came through for the team.”
Crowell said her senior season of Tonka soccer was the most rewarding ever. The Skippers finished second to Wayzata in the conference standings and also finished undefeated in the conference for the first time with a 3-0-5 mark.
“I feel we changed the tide in the Minnetonka soccer program,” said Crowell. “Obviously, we wanted to go farther in the playoffs, but it was still a wonderful season. It was cool to be part of this group.
“I am so sad it’s over … it was very emotional at the end.”
Tonka’s season ended in the Section 6AA semifinals when they lost to Hopkins in a shootout 2-1.
Crowell said it was an honor to play her four-year varsity career with coach Hopkins.
“He was tremendously supportive of me and all the other players,” she noted. “Jeff always reminded me that I was the playmaker and that I should go get the ball.
“I have played midfield for most of my career. That is where the coaches always put me, and I like it because I am in the play at all times. A midfielder has the opportunity to play with everyone on the team.”
The high school soccer season lasts only about two months and that leaves 10 other months for serious players such as Crowell.
“My club team is Minnesota Thunder Academy,” she said. “I have had the opportunity to play with the best players and for the best coaches and to travel all over the country. I have been given a great opportunity.”
Like many high school athletes, Crowell tried a variety of sports when she was younger.
“I was a multi-sport athlete,” she said. “Track, basketball and tennis were my other sports. I loved basketball and wasn’t too bad at it, but in high school I decided not to play. I hibernate into that soccer dome for five months and come back out again in the spring.”
Crowell, the daughter of Bob and Heidi Crowell, carries a weighted GPA of 4.3 and will enroll in Cornell’s college of agriculture and life sciences. She is keeping her career options open.
Crowell hopes soccer will always be a part of her life.
“I have done some coaching, and I enjoy teaching the sport,” she said. “Is that an option for the future? Who knows? I want to stay involved.”