M-W's Thomas, Sullivan Look Ahead To College Soccer
BY DAVE SHEA
Lydia Thomas and Alexis Sullivan were teammates in soccer and basketball for three years at Madrid-Waddington Central School.
Both were part of very successful programs at M-W and both chose soccer as a primary sport as they solidified their plans for college and signed their NCAA Commitment Letters.
Thomas chose Wells College of the NEAC Conference and Sullivan decided on SUNY Potsdam of the SUNYAC Conference.
M-W Coach Justin Richards was very proud that his program produced two college players for next fall and feels that both will make smooth transitions to the next level. Both players were versatile and skilled and made contributions out of the midfield and on the front line during their M-W careers.
"Lydia came to MW during her sophomore year and was a tremendous asset to our soccer program. She's a hard working player who is capable of playing midfield and forward. She plays smart, aggressive soccer and has a really good shot beyond the 18 yard box. Wells College is getting a solid player in Lydia" says Richards.
"Alexis has improved her game so much since her sophomore year. She was our catalyst who we looked to get things going for us offensively and was a second team all-star as junior and a first team all-star as senior. She's capable of playing forward/midfield and has great vision of the field. She's a hard working, intelligent player who can pick her spots on the goal. She'll be a great addition to SUNY Potsdam soccer."
Growing up in Colton and on the waters of Higley Flow, Lydia Thomas felt very much at home visiting the Wells College campus on the shores of Cayuga Lake where she plans to major in Health Sciences.
"One of the people in the admissions department, Samantha Hall, was a Madrid-Waddington graduate and when I visited the school I really liked it and I liked the coach (Maria Primmer)," said Thomas who competed in soccer, basketball and track field after transferring to Madrid-Waddington to M-W for her sophomore year.
Primmer played NCAA Division I soccer at St. Bonaventure University and professionally in West Germany.
"We texted back and forth and coach came up and watched our Class C Championship game against Brushton-Moira. Coach sent me a workout schedule which I have followed this spring when school cancelled by the pandemic," added Thomas who showed her versatility in the title game moving forward from the midfield and scoring a goal.
"I played AAU basketball and I played soccer in the summers ever since I started youth soccer in Colton. As I got older I got to like soccer more so I decided to play college in soccer. I enjoyed all my sports at Madrid-Waddington and I got great coaching in soccer from Justin Richards and in the summer I played for Ryan Robinson. I was very lucky," says Thomas who is the daughter of Chris and Lucy Thomas who is a member of the teaching staff at M-W.
"It looks like I will be playing up front at Wells. We will be rebounding but our coach feels will be have a good season. We will be playing SUNY Canton in our first game so that will be exciting."
It didn't take much deliberation for Alexis Sullivan to choose SUNY Potsdam as the place to transition from a high school to a college student-athlete.
She wanted to play close to home so her family could attend her games and she wanted to play for a great program, directed by a great coach in Mark Misiak who was recently named as the college's Interim Athletic Director.
Misiak is SUNY Potsdam's winningest Women' Soccer Coach with 69 victories at the Lady Bears' helm and led his last three teams to the SUNYAC Tournament.
"I really wanted to stay close to home. My mother works in the athletic department at SUNY Potsdam. I will get to see a lot of her which will be nice," said Sullivan who is the daughter of Michael and Jennifer Sullivan.
"And Potsdam has a great program and a great coach in Mark Misiak. Coach came to one of my games when we played in Colton. My mom video tapes all of my games so I sent him videos throughout the season."
Sullivan was a First Team All-NAC East selection in both basketball and soccer at M-W as a senior and as a junior was part of the Jackets' 4x100 relay in track and field which took second place in last season's Section 10 Championships.
"Soccer has always been my favorite sport and I am so excited to play at Potsdam. I loved going to Madrid-Waddington. It is such a great school and I had great coaches in all my sports," said Sullivan who plans to major in Exercise Science and Nutrition at SUNY Potsdam and go on to become a Physical Therapist.
"It was so disappointing that our track season was cancelled. We were going to have a good team. i run on all of the relays and we were going to be very good. But it was just posted on facebook that the women's summer soccer league is going to be held. That is great news and I hope that is a good sign for our fall season at college."