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Monday, April 22 News

GFA’s Kimball verbally commits to play women’s soccer at Richmond

WESTPORT — There’s another Kimball who will be forging her own path at the collegiate level.

Elyse, the junior forward and standout for the Greens Farms Academy girls soccer team, recently gave her verbal commitment to play soccer at the University of Richmond.

She will join her sister Lexi, a sophomore who is making her mark for the Georgetown University basketball team.

“We have always been competitive with each other,” Elyse said of her sister — the leading scorer in the history of the GFA girls basketball program. “We always pushed each other. She’s been my motivation.”

The sisters will be the first set of siblings from GFA to play D-I athletics.

Even though her sister showed her the way to become a top-notch student-athlete, Elyse Kimball has followed her own path to becoming an excellent soccer player at GFA.

She has made an impact as a Dragons since her eighth grade year, either leading or tying for the leading scorer honors on the team.

This past season, she netted 11 goals while leading GFA to the Fairchester Athletic Association title game where the Dragons suffered a tough 1-0 loss to Greenwich Academy. For her efforts, though, Kimball was an All-FAA, All-New England, NESCAC and WNEISWA All-Star.

“She’s a hardworking girl who sticks to her tasks,” GFA’s second-year coach Andrew Henry said. “She wears her emotions on her sleeve, and that helps her. She holds herself to a high standard and when her standards aren’t meet, she has to be reined in but that’s a good problem.

“Elyse is super talented, skillful and offensive minded,” he added. “She wants to go to goal all the time.”

Kimball, a Westport resident, said now that she has decided what school to attend, it’s been a huge weight off her shoulders. She said the staff at Richmond is amazing, led by head coach Marty Beall, and it focuses more on the person over the player.

Playing an important role right off the bat would be ideal, Kimball said.

“I want to have a lasting impression on the team,” she said. “I can see myself as a leader on the team in the future.”

Henry said even though Kimball will be playing at an established Division I program, she will excel in the long run because of her work ethic and her high soccer IQ.

“Having played at the D-I level myself, it can be tough,” said Henry, a Jamaican native who attended St. John’s University. “As she gets accustomed with playing at that level, she should do well.”

The future seems bright for Kimball and she still has one more season of high school soccer left as a Dragon. Henry said he’s pleased to have her back for one more year and he’ll be counting on her to lead the team as a captain.

Kimball said it’s an honor to serve as a captain and she’s looking forward to helping GFA get to where it wants to go.

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“The main goal is to put the team first,” she said. “I’d like to see the team make the FAA championship again but I most just want to enjoy my last year. There’s nothing like high school soccer.”

And soon she’ll see there’s nothing like college soccer as well.

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