Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Burroughs' Thorpe to Play Field Hockey for Virginia

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Burroughs' Thorpe to Play Field Hockey for Virginia

Article excerpt

Meridith Thorpe could have chosen to play field hockey for almost any college in the country. Some of the best wanted her - Northwestern, Iowa . . .

It takes more than winning to catch Thorpe's heart.

Not that the John Burroughs senior doesn't want to win. She hopes to help turn Virginia into a Top 10 program. Thorpe gave Virginia coach Missy Sanders an oral commitment last weekend.

Never mind that Virginia went just 10-11 last season, Sanders' second as head coach, and is trying to emerge from the huge shadow of North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Thorpe turned down Duke and Northwestern in her final decision, as she kept referring to all the good things she saw in November during a visit to Virginia.

"They all have great academics," Thorpe said. "I just felt the most comfortable at Virginia.

"The campus is beautiful. It's a great school. I liked a lot of the players on the team, and I got along well with the coaches."

Thus ends the hunt for the top field hockey recruits in the country, a hunt curiously focused in St. Louis. Nancy Pelligreen of Visitation had preceded Thorpe when she gave an oral commitment to North Carolina a couple of months ago.

"Nancy and Meridith are as close to Kristin Folkl as you can get in the sport of field hockey," said Kelly Yates, who has coached Pelligreen and Thorpe on area age-group teams.

"According to almost every college coach in the country, they are the top two recruits this year," Yates said. "Getting Meridith is an unbelievable plus for Virginia's program."

Thorpe is a three-time high school All-American. She scored 145 goals in four all-Metro Women's Athletic Association seasons and led Burroughs to three state championships. Thorpe was the leading scorer in the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival in San Antonio and has participated in three national "A" team development camps. …

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