TENNERTON – For Gracie Boyles, her senior season as a standout defensive midfielder for the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc soccer team didn’t quite go as planned.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Lady Bucs to cancel seven games this past season and then Boyles suffered a knee injury which caused her to miss another six games.
But all’s well that ends well for the senior who didn’t let any of that stop her as she recently signed a letter of intent to continue her soccer career at Concord University at a recent ceremony at the high school.
Boyles said it was an easy decision to make to attend Concord after taking her initial visit and getting the opportunity to meet the coaching staff.
“After taking my visit there, I really liked the coaching staff, the small-town community of Athens and I really liked the campus,” stated Boyles. “The Concord coaching staff saw me play at a college showcase and then I went to a camp there and their interest in me just continued from there.”
Boyles said she is grateful for the opportunity to continue her soccer career at the next level after learning how the play the game as a four-year-old.
“It is really exciting for me to be able to play collegiate soccer,” remarked Boyles. “It shows that all the hard work I have put in the past few years had paid off. I have always wanted to play collegiate soccer. That has always been my goal playing club soccer leading up to this. I have always liked the competitiveness of the game and I like that there is always room to get better.”
Boyles said she expects to play as a defender for head coach Luke Duffy at Concord.
Boyles, who had one assist in her shortened season said she is also proud to represent Buckhannon-Upshur at the next level.
“I am very proud to represent Buckhannon-Upshur at the next level and further my soccer career,” said Boyles.
Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc head soccer coach Jackie Zuliani said about Boyles, “She is a dedicated soccer player who loves the game. I am very anxious to see what the future holds for Gracie and I wish her the best of luck at Concord.”
Boyles’ shortened season cost her a chance at any post season awards this season but she was a WVHSSAC All Region I Second Team player last year.
She will join a Concord team that won the 2019 Mountain East Conference championship and a year when Duffy was named the MEC Women’s Sports Coach of the Year. They made the program’s first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament during the 2019 season.
Boyles stated she will study Exercise Science at Concord.