Stadler kicks off season as a Division 1 commit

Jonas Evans and Ellie Noffke

When people think about Villanova, they might think about the tremendous basketball program that’s won the NCAA basketball championship two times in the past three years, yet for junior Makayla Stadler, the school is important to her for different reasons.

Stadler committed to play Division 1 soccer for the University of Villanova Wildcats the summer after her sophomore year. Stadler says she was influenced by several aspects, including the campus, the coach and the conference. In her third year on the GBS girls varsity soccer team,  Stadler says she is very enthusiastic for her future at GBS and her college career.

“I love the [Villanova soccer] coach; he was what made me commit [because] he’s got a great personality,” Stadler said. “[The campus] is really, really pretty—it’s old, but it’s a pretty type of old.”

Stadler at first had some discussions with her coaches to get their suggestions on what college to attend. She ended up sticking with her heart while also keeping her passion for Villanova.

“My club coach wanted me to try to go Big Ten, but I feel like with Big Ten there’s a lot more competition and I didn’t want soccer to be my whole college experience, so I’m happy with the Big East.” Stadler said.

According to Head Coach Seong Ha, Stadler has many roles with the team on and off the field. While on the field, her roles show in her offensive position on the turf.

“[Makayla is always] putting the ball into the back of the net and being our engine in the offensive part of the field,” Ha said.

Ha can recount multiple ways Stadler impacts the team emotionally, whether it’s during or after practice, at a pasta party or even during a game warm up.

“[She has the] ability to keep others loose.  She doesn’t stress most of the time.  Always with a smile. She is armed with a positive and contagious attitude that fits our team well,” Ha said.

According to her freshman sister, Dani Stadler, Makayla doesn’t lose her fierce spirit when she’s not playing soccer.

“She acts like a child a lot. She’s very competitive, strong and gets to the point of things,” Dani said.

Makayla’s teammates also enjoy her personality, according to junior captain Libbie Vanderveen. The team goalie and one of Makayla’s good friends, Vanderveen shares some memories she has with Stadler while on the team.

“She’s a really goofy person … she always has a smile on her face, and we call her a human emoji because she looks like an emoji because she’s so happy,” Vanderveen said.

Makayla has grown from her past slip-ups, according to Vanderveen. She says there was time when Makayla struggled to kick the ball to the right place

“Freshman year, [the team] got kicked out of a practice and it was kind of her fault, she hit [Coach Ha] in the face. He was playing goalie, and he got really mad,” Vanderveen said.

Vanderveen has been on the GBS Varsity soccer team since she was a freshman, just like Makayla.  Vanderveen says she appreciates Makayla’s aggressive play.

“She’s basically our offense, we try and just get it to her because we know that she can score,” Vanderveen said.

Last season, the team had a 18-0-4 record.This year, the team hasn’t lost a game with a 6-0-3 record.