SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – South Plainfield High School senior Sydni Surowiec on Wednesday signed a letter of intent to play soccer for Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. Sydni, who was accepted into the school on both athletic and academic scholarships, will be a goalkeeper for the Mountaineers, the school’s Division 1 women’s soccer team.

Joining Sydni for the Feb. 3 signing were her parents, Michael and Sandy, sisters Mackenzie and Kirstyn, best friend Stephanie Boettger, South Plainfield Athletic Director Al Czech, South Plainfield High School Acting Principal Ronnie Spring, and South Plainfield Girls Varsity Soccer Coach Paul Correia.

Sydni first stepped on the field when she was just five years old, playing for the borough’s rec program. Throughout much of her school career, she played both soccer and softball but in eighth grade made the choice to dedicate all her time and talent to soccer. Sydni was a goalie for the South Plainfield High School Girl's Varsity Soccer Team. Unfortunately, last March she tore her ACL during the Jefferson Cup – one of the top rated youth soccer tournaments in the country - and was forced to sit out her entire senior season.

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“It was heartbreaking. It was my last hoorah and I couldn't play,” said Sydni, adding that thankfully, her admittance to Mt. St. Mary’s was committed prior to the injury. “Fortunately, they understood because the coach had seen a lot of injuries due to ACLs.”

While she may not have been able to play, Coach Correia said Sydni didn't let an injury get in the way of her supporting her team during the 2015 season. She attended practices and games, cheering her team from the sidelines, and also served as a mentor.

“I couldn't just not do anything,” said Sydni. “It would have been weird just sitting home.”

Last month, Sydni was able to resume training and, according to dad Michael, she gets up early to hit the gym and is serious about continuing her physical therapy. "She has been very determined," said Michael, adding that his oldest daughter first began reaching out to colleges when she was just a sophomore, emailing coaches and inviting them to come see her play. “We weren’t surprised they were interest but there was a lot of interest,” he said. “She’s a A student and a dedicated athlete.”

In addition to Mt. St. Mary’s, Sydni was accepted to a half dozen other colleges and universities, but attending the Maryland school and playing for the Division 1 Mountaineers was her number one choice. “It’s my dream school. I fell in love with it after I went to visit,” said Sydni, adding that being able to play soccer for the college made being accepted even better. “I couldn't imagine going to the school and not playing,” said Sydni. “I’ve been playing my whole life.”

“I am just so proud of her and excited,” said mom Sandy. “She’s living her dream and going to play for a Division 1 school. I can’t wait to see her play on a new level.”

Coach Correia added, “I have coached Sydni for two years and she is a great girl and a great player. I wish her the best of luck. I know she will do well and I can’t wait to go see her play.”

Sydni plans to major in biology at Mt. St. Mary’s and pursue a career in athletic training and sports medicine. Her goal is to one day work for a pro team.

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