By Tamas Mondovics
The final whistle, signaling Newsome’s 2-1 win over Palm Harbor University on Friday, January 29, was a moment that Wolves Senior Captain Lindsey Eaton will no doubt cherish forever.
The victory, which for most athletes would have been enough to celebrate, launched the Wolves to the Class 5A state semifinals, the first time for the team since 2011.
For Eaton, who is committed to play soccer at the University of Central Florida, however, it was much more.
“No better feeling,” she tweeted after the game, as follow up to her post game interview comments when she said, “Winning this game is just amazing; It’s a dream come true.”
While she is no stranger to winning, topping the Hurricanes was the culmination of four years of hard work and dedication on the part of Eaton, whose love of the game and measure of talent is both an asset and a pleasure for soccer fans to watch.
For the 2015-2016 season in the 20 games played, Eaton posted 36 goals and 20 assists breaking the single season record set by former Newsome senior Karina Gutsche.
Interestingly, Eaton’s first encounter with soccer was at age six, the result of an invitation to play with a friend at a local church co-ed league.
“Lindsey immediately excelled at soccer and scored a lot of goals for her team,” said Kevin Eaton, Lindsey’s dad.
The goal scoring continued as the young talent joined recreational soccer the following season at the Valrico Youth Soccer Club under the direction of Coach Mark Ellington, who helped Lindsey learn a bit more about the sport than just finding the back of the net.
Recognizing the talent, Ellington encouraged Lindsey to move up to travel soccer, which led to four years with the Valrico Lady Raptors (U-8, U-9, U-10, and U-11).
Meanwhile, the goal scoring continued leading Lindsey to grow in the sport and finally join Tampa Bay United for U-16, U-17, and U-18.
“Lindsey is a fantastic player who excels on and off the field,” said Tampa Bay United Coach Adrian Bush. “Her work ethic is at the top of the class, and she possesses the speed and ability to stretch the field. Lindsey is a great threat up front with exceptional service into the box. Off the field she has incredible character, and is a first-class person with strong family values.”
As the goal scoring continued, Lindsey led her TBU team to win the Florida State Cup Championship; the USYS Southern Region Championship; and the USYS National Championship.
While Lindsey’s goal to finish high school with an FHSAA State title will not become a reality, being a part of what has been accomplished during the past four years at Newsome and her local club years will continue to shape her future as well as set the example for younger players that follow.
“My future goals include impacting UCF soccer program positively and excelling in college academics,” she said, adding, “I would tell younger players to always give their full effort in every practice and game they have the opportunity to play in. Stay focused and respectful on and off the field and play every game as if it were their last.”
With camera in hand, faithfully attending every game she could, Lindsey’s mom Leda, used every chance to ask, “Did you see Lindsey?” as if she could be missed.
Instead, Lindsey is the proof that talented young athletes are out there to be discovered as they give their best to the sport they love, bring excitement to each new season and make their own history. To see Lindsey’s UCF profile, visit http://bit.ly/1SR4eHF.