At 5’10” sophomore midfielder Elise Leavitt towers over most of her teammates on the women’s soccer team, most of who range from 5’2” – 5’4”. She actually almost chose a different sport that’s known for its taller players in basketball.
“Watching my older cousins, Kelsi and Kirsten O’Neil play club soccer inspired me to play (soccer),” said Leavitt. “They both played at the University of New Hampshire and inspired me to pursue collegiate soccer. They convinced me to play collegiate soccer instead of basketball.”
So far it has looked like she made the right choice.
A native of Stratham, N.H., Leavitt has been playing soccer as long as she can remember, beginning with club soccer for Seacoast United.
As she grew older she played other sports and at Exeter High School, played soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and ran track.
As a soccer player, she earned 2nd team all-state honors, played on a team that was ranked No.1 in the nation, and won the state title three out of her four years there.
She was also a star on the basketball court at Exeter, where she played varsity all four years, winning most valuable player in her senior season.
After Exeter she did a post graduate year at Brewster Academy and helped her soccer team to a NEPSAC (New England Preparatory School Athletic Counsel) championship.
Just like at Exeter, Leavitt also shined on the basketball court at Brewster. She started at point guard for the basketball team and was won her second MVP award.
She ultimately moved on from basketball and chose Springfield College because of her cousin’s influence as well as the atmosphere of the campus.
“I chose Springfield College because I wanted the small school environment that was close to home,” said Leavitt. “Springfield College had my major [Health Science], a successful soccer team, and I liked the campus.”
As a freshman she saw a lot of time on the field playing in 23 out of the 25 games for the Pride. This season she emerged into a much bigger role as a starter.
The Pride started out well winning ten of their first eleven games, but injuries to many starters and key players derailed their their season. Leavitt managed to avoid any injury and be a consistently productive player for the Pride.
“Our team was very unlucky with the number of injuries we had but I don’t think it hurt us overall,” said Leavitt. “I believe that everything happens for a reason and with having so many injuries, it allowed others to step up and fill in certain roles. The starting eleven changed very frequently which made practices more competitive and motivated us to work hard.”
Senior Kim Quiles spoke highly about Leavitt’s selflessness as well as her ability to take constructive criticism and make the best of it.
“She’s very open to what people have to say,” said Quiles. “She takes everything in and she adjusts, she’s always willing to move past her mistakes to help her teammates around her.”
Leavitt’s wrapping up her sophomore campaign with the Pride the ECAC tournament, in which the Pride are the defending champs and the number one seed.
“Nothing is handed to us,” said Leavitt. “We have a goal to win the tournament again but we need to earn it with hard work.”
As for the future the Pride will be in good hands with Leavitt being one of the leaders.
“She definitely has the capability of being the leader, said Quiles. “ She has people looking look up to her already”