BY ROCKY STANLEY
THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
RUSSELL Maddison Moore’s college search began and ended with Aurora University in her native Illinois.
A standout defender during Russell soccer’s run of three state Elite Eight finishes in four years, Moore signed Wednesday with the Division III school. The city of Aurora is located 40 miles west of Chicago.
Moore moved to Kentucky at age eight with her family. As her successful high school career began to wind down, Moore cast her sights on Aurora.
“They actually were the first school I looked at,” she said. “I did a four-day (soccer) camp there that was a good experience.”
Having relatives living in the area made her decision easier.
“Knowing they are there, it’s like a safety blanker,” Moore said. “It gives you more peace of mind.”
Russell coach John Perry said Moore certainly will be missed.
“She controlled the defense,” Perry said. “Maddison was kind of the captain back there. She did a heck of a job. It will be tough to replace her. I don’t know if we will be able to.”
Perry and Russell athletic director Sam Sparks praised Moore’s desire and determination as they addressed a crowd in the RHS library.
“She’s the type athlete who puts the extra effort in,” Perry said. “I would drive by the soccer field and see her with Kynidee (Allen) practicing with her dad (RHS assistant Bobby Allen).”
The 5-foot-8 center back earned All-Area honors last fall as Russell went 18-6, including a 12-0 mark against 16th Region opponents.
“Maddison’s very quick,” Perry said. “She has great close-out speed and just shut down anybody around her. Her extra effort lifted our team.”” In all, Russell won 67 games — 43 by shutout — during Moore’s varsity career.
“It makes me feel very successful that I helped do that,” she said. “I know Russell’s going to carry on the tradition.”
Moore rated the three trips to the state quarterfinals as her fondest memory of playing with the Lady Devils.
“My best friends are on the team with me, so that makes it even more enjoyable,” she said.
An accomplished student, Moore is taking several AP honors classes and plans to go into marketing.
Aurora, coached by Troy Edwards, advanced to the semifinals of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference in 2016. The Spartans posted a 6-3-1 conference mark, good for fourth place among 11 teams.
Moore will be joining a program with eight NCAA Tournament appearances since 2001.
“I’m so excited. I really am,” she said. “Time management is going to be an issue, and I know the college game will be a lot faster.”
Perry looks for Moore to handle the transition well.
“I think Maddison was one of the top two recruits for Aurora,” he said. “She will have to work. I have the utmost confidence she’s preparing to do that.”
Moore ran track successfully for the Lady Devils as a junior and competed in swimming this year.
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