Brooklyne Waddell knew she wanted to play lacrosse in college before she even entered high school.
So in the eighth grade, Waddell, now entering her senior year at Wilsonville, began constructing a list of all the schools she would like to play at and started emailing coaches.
"I grew up with a bunch of people that I knew who played in college," says Waddell, an attacker who began playing lacrosse in the second grade with Wilsonville Youth Lacrosse. "All these high school players went off to play college at Cornell and Northwestern. I looked up to them and I wanted to do that."
Once she joined Tenacity Project, a lacrosse club founded by Theresa Sherry, a three-time All-American at Princeton, Waddell says she started seeing college coaches on the sidelines during her games.
By the end of her sophomore year, Waddell cut her list down to three schools – the University of Oregon, Arizona State and San Diego State.
"I really wanted to go to a big school with a big football team and big school spirit," says Waddell, who was invited and attended junior day events at all three colleges.
Waddell says Oregon was her "dream" school but a coaching change soured her relationship with the Ducks.
"They (Oregon) were behind on their 2019 class and weren't going to offer (the 2020 class) until late," says Waddell, whose communication with San Diego State head coach Kylee White and assistant coach Brandi Padilla, at the same time, was blooming.
"The coaches were so nice," Waddell says. "They're almost like another mom. They're fun and friendly. I really just fell in love with San Diego's coaches."
The Aztecs offered Waddell a scholarship and a spot on the women's lacrosse team in October.
She committed to San Diego State in November.
"I've always wanted to go to a school someplace sunny," Waddell says. "San Diego obviously has warm weather and it's 15 minutes from the beach. The campus was beautiful."
The Aztecs won their second straight Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship in April.
With Waddell's college decision behind her, she went on to score 60 goals while leading the Three Rivers League with 38 assists for Wilsonville in the spring. She also led the conference in both points and goals per game while shooting over 63 percent.
For the second consecutive season, she was voted a First Team All-Three Rivers League and All-State attacker.
"Brooklyne is one of the most effective attackers in the state with a plethora of moves and shots," Wilsonville coach Brett Monello says. "She is extremely effective at creating opportunities for herself while also being one of the state's leaders in assists."
Due to a lack of midfielders on the Wilsonville roster, Waddell also played out of position, even spending one game at goalie.
"Her production on the offensive end remains high despite often drawing a double or triple team and having to play in the midfield due to team personnel issues and shoulder a significant portion of the responsibility to transition the ball to attack," Monello says.
Wilsonville, which had finished a combined 23-13 the previous two seasons, went 2-15 in 2019.
While frustrating, Waddell says the experience was ultimately good for her.
"This past year was tough for us," she says. "We almost didn't have enough players to fill a varsity team. We didn't have a JV team. We had four or five new players that hadn't played before, and no seniors. It was more a growth season for everyone. We didn't win a lot of games. It was more about learning and teaching other people how to play. It was a different experience that I've never really been used to. I'm used to playing higher level lacrosse. But it was good for me to learn how to play that way."
Waddell plans to take her official visit to San Diego State in the fall. She can sign a national letter of intent on Nov. 13.
"Everyone (fellow students) is like you have it so easy, you're already done with college planning," Waddell says. "I'm super excited."
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