Not many Beverly High athletes find college sports programs that share their uniquely loud school color, orange.
Though it was far from her top priority, attacking midfielder Eva Gourdeau is pretty happy to have found one.
Heading into her junior year of high school, Gourdeau gave a verbal commitment to play soccer at Syracuse University this past spring.
The Orange are coached by Phil Weddon, who coached the US Women’s National Team to Olympic gold in 2004 and 2008, and will join the ultra-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference before Gourdeau arrives in 2015.
“It was a really tough decision, but in the end it came down to the fact that I wanted to play in the most competitive conference I could,” said Gourdeau, who fielded close to a dozen Division 1 offers and had a top three of Syracuse, Providence and Villanova.
“The coach’s style is very similar to what I’m used to. He has big ambition for the team with 2014 being their first year in the ACC and the Syracuse community behind him, so it’s exciting to become a part of it.”
In Gourdeau, the Orange are getting a highly regarded, technically skilled player. TopDrawerSoccer.com rates her at four stars (out of five), and she’s also the No. 3 player in the Northeast for the high school Class of 2015, and No. 40 among all forwards in her class nationally.
In two seasons at Beverly, Gourdeau has 39 goals, 36 assists and 75 points. She’s a two-time Salem News all-star and helped the Panthers win the Division 1 North title last fall. Along with senior teammates Caitlin Harty (Holy Cross) and Kristen O’Connor (Bryant), Gourdeau gives Beverly three Division 1 college players coming back next season.
“It all became real for me when I made my decision. I was able to reflect on my love for the game and how much I put into it over the years,” said Gourdeau. “I love to play at the highest level.”