It’s a special day in any young person’s life when they get the chance to sign with a Division I athletics program. Monday evening, the Valparaiso University women’s soccer program –in conjunction with Team IMPACT – had the opportunity to welcome a very special new member into the team in a moving signing ceremony, as 16-year-old Lauren Moody signed a Letter of Agreement to officially be drafted into the Valpo program.
Lauren, a native of Chesterton, Ind., was diagnosed with Epilepsy in 2016. She was paired with the Valparaiso University women’s soccer program thanks to the work of Team IMPACT, a nonprofit that connects youths facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child’s support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can’t learn in a classroom.
Lauren and her mother, Rachel, took a visit to campus a few weeks ago, touring campus and the team’s facilities with head coach John Marovich and the team’s leadership council. At the end of that visit, Marovich asked Lauren if she wanted to commit to joining the program and Lauren gave her verbal agreement at that point. Monday evening saw Lauren officially put pen to paper and sign with the Valpo women’s soccer program in front of her parents, Rachel and Ozzie, extended family members, the team and coaches, and members of the local media.
Lauren has already had the opportunity to join the team at a few practices leading up to Monday’s signing ceremony, and is looking forward to spending time with her new teammates at practices, games and other team events going forward.