June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

College signing: Beth Lang finds a good fit at Ashland University

MEDINA — Beth Lang couldn’t resist picking Ashland University.

The Division II college was the right size and it was close to home. The Medina junior soccer player knew instantly it was the place for her.

Beth Lang

Beth Lang

“Ashland stood out to me from the second I set foot on campus,” said Lang, who made her verbal commitment to the school earlier this month. “Everything about it made me feel at home and extremely comfortable. It’s an absolutely gorgeous school and the perfect size.

“It really all comes down to personal preference and at Ashland I could see myself down the road being really happy there.”

Lang was completely sold on Ashland after meeting with Eagles coach Glenn Francis.

One of Francis’ assistants, Carlee Gault, had watched the 5-foot-3 forward play two years ago as a sophomore for the Bees during their run to the Division I state championship, so when Lang e-mailed the second-year coach the two sides were already familiar with each other.

“I sent Coach Francis an e-mail and he already knew who I was,” she said. “We kept in touch. I finally visited and Coach Francis and I just clicked. We rag on each other all the time and just get along really well.

“After my first visit we continued to stay in touch and he came to more games. Then at the beginning of May, he called me and set up another visit where we talked business and I went home with no doubt in my mind that I wanted to play for Coach Francis and at Ashland University.”

The Eagles will get a savvy striker that earned her way into the varsity rotation as a sophomore (10 goals, 4 assists) and followed that season up with a five-goal, two-assist season in just 11 games played as a junior helping the Bees win their first conference championship since 2006.

The 17-year-old will join a program that is on the rise in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Eagles went 4-11-2, 2-10-2 last season, while featuring a roster loaded with freshmen and sophomores.

Lang should feel right at home since three of her Pennine United teammates recently committed to Ashland while former Medina players Melissa Hill and Rachel Luebke are already on the roster.

“Knowing some people from Medina that go there now and from other teams makes me feel very confident that I won’t get homesick and I’ll fit in and feel comfortable playing there,” said Lang, who plans on studying education. “I look up to those girls so much and I’m excited to get to play with them again after all these years.”

An added bonus for Lang is that notably her father Thom Lang, who has served as Medina’s team statistician for the last two seasons, won’t have to travel far to see her play.

“It’s close to home, meaning my No. 1 fan and supporter, my Dad, can continue to watch me play and cheer me on at every game like he has since I was five,” she said. “I couldn’t have done any of this without the love and support of my amazing Mom (Margi) and Dad.”

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.