Eclipse Select Soccer Club midfielder and Lake Forest native Angela Waddle has committed to play for Vanderbilt's women's soccer team.
Waddle, who will be a senior at Lake Forest High School this fall, will kick off her collegiate career for the Nashville-based Southeastern Conference program.
"I'm very excited," Waddle said. "It has always been a part of the country where I've wanted to go to school. I visited the area, the city of Nashville, and of course Vanderbilt's academics are great. I always wanted to go south for college."
Waddle will join a Vanderbilt team guided by head coach Derek Greene.
"He's a positive and encouraging guy, and I really like that attitude in a coach," Waddle said of Greene. "He's really excited about the upcoming season, and that has made me really excited about the program. We talked about where I would be playing, and my ideal position would be in the center midfield. I've always been in the midfield, and I'm pretty versatile."
The SEC also will have a newly competitive look when Waddle joins as Missouri and Texas A&M are brought into the fold.
"That was a huge draw for me as a player to play in the SEC, which all-around is strong in athletics," Waddle said. "I'm looking forward to being a part of it."
Waddle's sister, Georgia, helped her through the college process as she is coming off her freshman campaign with Northwestern.
"I definitely used her as a resource because she's been through it," Waddle said of her older sister. "The biggest advice she had for me was to look at the overall school and where you really want to go. For her, staying close to home was a big factor and the best fit for her. She's definitely helped me with that and has given me soccer advice. But choosing the school that best fit me was the biggest thing."
Waddle recently wrapped up her Elite Clubs National League season with the U-16s, contributing a goal as the team took fifth place in the 2012 ECNL National Championship event in Waukegan. The club as a whole finished sixth overall for the 2011-12 season. Waddle has an August birthday, so while she has played regularly for Eclipse Select's U-16 team, she is in the same grade as many of Eclipse Select's U-17 players.
Waddle joined Eclipse Select several years ago and said the move has been invaluable.
"I came here at U-13, and Eclipse was a huge change for me," Waddle said. "You see the difference from a passion standpoint, and when you're with Eclipse they focus on a lot more of the mental aspects of the game. I think that's where I've greatly improved having been here. I have a much stronger mental attitude, I'm more competitive and passionate, and the coaches have been great."
Being a two-way player in the midfield, Waddle credits the club for helping her with all aspects of the position.
"They really stress defensive work and are committed on defending," Waddle said. "That was something that wasn't my focus before joining Eclipse, but I've improved as a defender since I have been here."