Carver to play soccer at Clearwater Christian College

May. 06, 2014 @ 10:36 AM

Elisa Carver’s been a team captain for Grace Christian soccer since her freshman year. So as a senior this spring, she’s a certain veteran as a team leader.

Unfortunately for the Lady Crusaders, Carver’s had to be a leader from off the field due to a knee injury.

The injury, which Carver is having ACL surgery for on Wednesday, hasn’t stopped Carver from being a key part

of the team — which won its first-ever CCC season championship, was playing for the CCC tournament title yesterday in Wilson, and will be one of the top-ranked squads going into the NCISAA 1A State Tournament — or from being the first Lady Crusaders soccer player to sign a college offer to keep playing at the next level.

Carver made it official with Clearwater Christian College and the Cougar soccer program Monday morning at Grace Christian with family, some of her “soccer family,” Grace Christian head coach Chris Pratt and Clearwater Christian head coach Samuel Greeley in attendance. Clearwater, Fla. is home of the Cougars, who play in the National Christian College Athletic Association.

Carver has earned all-conference, all-tournament and team defensive MVP honors in her Lady Crusader career.

“She’s been the leader of our defense for four year,” Pratt said, very much counting this season. “She’s still a captain this year, even with the injury.”

The knee injury forced Carver out of her senior season, it also came at a bad time for her college prospects, a week before a tryout with Clearwater.

Carver said she wasn’t thinking about college soccer, or college at all, until recently. Two friends were interested in Clearwater Christian, which sparked Carver. She met with the admittance office, which led to meeting the soccer coach.

“And it just sort of happened, one thing after another. God made it happen,” Carver said.

Coach Greeley kept the soccer offer even while he hasn’t seen Carver in action in person. Carver said she owes a “ginormous thanks” to Greeley and Clearwater Christian.

She’s also looking forward to being part of a soccer program which puts faith and being Christ followers first, academics next, then sports.

“It’s exciting to have a new adventure, a new chapter, in my life, and I’m definitely thrilled to be going to Florida,” Carver said.

Carver wants to study exercise and sports therapy with a goal of helping special needs children.

For what the Lady Crusaders hope will be a long state tournament run, Carver will have to remain an assistant coach. Following surgery, lots of rehab means Carver’s striving to be 100 percent by January.