Soccer standout off to D-1 Lehigh

IRON MOUNTAIN – Madeline Walsh toured the country with the highly-touted Eclipse Select Soccer Club of Oak Brook, Ill.

The daughter of Kathy and 1981 Iron Mountain High School graduate Tom Walsh will continue her travels with Division 1 Lehigh University of Bethlehem, Pa.

“I chose Lehigh because it has the perfect balance of rigorous academics and competitive athletics,” Walsh said. “The coaching staff and the girls were all so open and welcoming and made me feel like a part of the team from the start.

“Everyone at Lehigh is proud to call themselves a Mountain Hawk, and it’s that school spirit that gets me excited to become one, too.”

Walsh, a senior at Evanston Township High School, will join Lehigh’s program in the fall.

“Madeline is a versatile player who really understands the game of soccer,” Lehigh Coach Eric Lambinus said. “She is the type of player that all coaches love to have on their teams, and that is very evident from the feedback we received from her club coaches.

“She can play with both feet, has good technical ability and a great work ethic. Madeline has the ability to play several positions for us and that will help her contribute during her four years.”

Walsh played a year of high school soccer before joining the year-round Eclipse Select, a national championship program in 2011. Eclipse, which competes all over the U.S., draws many college coaches to their matches.

Her soccer ability and school standing – Honor Society and class president – attracted Lehigh and other schools. She was among a Lehigh recruiting class of seven.

“Each student-athlete has good soccer intelligence, high work rate, solid athletic ability and extremely competitive nature,” Lambinus said. “Those traits were specifically targeted and will only help our program continue to develop.

“We feel that each one of them will make a significant impact on our program during their four years at Lehigh.”

Walsh, who plays outside midfield and forward, also cites speed and desire.

“I’m aggressive and I try to want it more than anybody,” she said. “I may not be the most technical player. But I work hard and do whatever I can do to contribute to the game, up and down the field.”

She is the granddaughter of Dick and Jo Walsh of Kingsford. The late Jack Jennings, her grandfather, played football at Ohio State and with the Chicago Cardinals (1950-58). Michigan Tech head volleyball coach Matt Jennings is the nephew of Madeline’s mother Kathy.

(Evanston Review and Lehigh University contributed to this story)