Jerry Reigel, For The Daily News Published 7:00 a.m. ET Oct. 14, 2018
Delaney Cole(Photo: Jerry Reigel)
ANNVILLE – Cedar Crest has produced its allotment of aristocratic athletes over the years, decidedly changeable soccer players.
Crest alum Haleigh Echard enjoyed a arch career at Penn State that included a civic championship her green year in 2015.
Before her, above Falcon Billie Jo Atkins won a civic championship with Messiah a decade beforehand and denticulate the acceptable ambition in the 2005 NCAA appellation game.
Now, you can add the name Delaney (DJ) Cole to the ranks of above Falcons, who accept excelled not alone on the bookish akin but additionally on the civic level.
Cole is Messiah’s three-year amateur at centermost back, who was called First Aggregation All-American and was called by D3Soccer.com as the Civic Apostle of the Year aftermost year as a junior.
Messiah’s nationally-ranked Falcons abide to boss on the field, acknowledgment to players like Cole.
“Everybody knew me as Delaney at Cedar Crest,” she said, “but now I’ve become DJ. On my club team, there was addition Delaney. So I became DJ and it stuck.”
Cole and the Falcons were at Lebanon Valley College Wednesday afternoon to comedy the Flying Dutchmen and goalie Serena Donmoyer from Northern Lebanon. The girls’ soccer aggregation from NL was in the stands to basis for Donmoyer and apprentice what they could from the Falcons, who are 11-1 and ranked No. 2 in the country afterwards assault LVC 4-0.
The Vikings didn’t amount to see abounding goals from LVC, which entered the d with a almanac of 5-3-1. Messiah artlessly doesn’t acquiesce goals. In 12 games, they gave up three goals this year, including one in a 1-0 home accident to William Smith, which is 9-2 and ranked No. 7 in the country.
Cedar Crest alum Delaney Cole has developed into one of the top defenders in NCAA Division III during her career at Messiah. (Photo: Photo Courtesy of Messiah College Athletics)
Shutouts are annihilation new for Messiah. A year ago, Cole anchored a Messiah aegis that gave up aloof four goals in 23 amateur for a nation-leading boilerplate of 0.166 goals per d allowed. The Falcons’ annihilation allotment of 0.826 was additionally acme in the country.
Cole was called First Aggregation All-MAC Commonwealth Appointment and Commonwealth Arresting Amateur of the Year for the additional year in a row, afore abacus First Aggregation All-American ceremoniousness from the United States Soccer Coaches . She was also called First Aggregation All-Mid Atlantic Region the accomplished two years and been a affiliate of the MAC Academic Honor Roll throughout her career.
What the Vikings saw from Cole was a actual skilled, activating defender, who helped admit abhorrent attacks with confident, artistic passes out of the back.
“It helps back you’re arena with the blazon of aptitude we accept at Messiah,” Cole said. “It’s fun to comedy an accustomed canyon to somebody and see them about-face and do article absurd with it.”
Messiah drillmaster Scott Frey is able-bodied acquainted of what he has in Cole.
“DJ had developed into one of the top defenders and one of the best impactful players in NCAA Division III the accomplished few years,” he said. “She has a adamant spirit on the acreage accumulated with actuality atomic with abundant pace. She’s a analytical allotment of our arresting structure. She cleans up a lot of messes for us.”
Frey said Cole additionally has admired attributes off the field.
“Her assignment belief in the off-season is article for our adolescent players to emulate,” he said. “She’s a able leader.”
It was her assignment belief that helped Cole acknowledgment from two knee operations during her career.
“I tore my ACL my green year at Cedar Crest and afresh my aftermost d of my chief season,” she said. “I had already committed to Messiah and wasn’t abiding if I was activity to comedy that division or red-shirt. But it came about by backward summer and I was able to comedy as a freshman. It’s been accomplished anytime since.”
Frey said there are additionally affluence that Cole brings to the team.
“She invests in the lives of her teammates and helps them become the being and amateur they admiration to be,” he said. “She comes to convenance every day with a big smile on her face. She loves the d and loves to attempt with her team.”
There is one affair missing on Cole’s resume: a civic championship. In his 18 years, Frey’s teams accept won bristles civic championships and been to the Final Four 12 times. They accept accomplished civic runner-up four times.
Cedar Crest alum Delaney Cole overcame two knee surgeries in aerial academy to become a standout apostle at Messiah College. (Photo: Photo Courtesy of Messiah College Athletics)
“We got close,” Cole said. “We got to the final two years ago and absent 1-1 on amends bliss to Washington from St. Louis. We consistently assume to lose 1-1 on amends bliss in the NCAA playoffs.”
Cole was called to the NCAA Championships All-Tournament aggregation in 2016 and assisted on Messiah’s ambition in the appellation game. Messiah absent aftermost year in the quarterfinals, aloof missing the Final Four.
She’s attractive advanced to one aftermost try at a civic championship.
“It’s article we don’t allocution abundant about,” she said. “We’re demography it one d at a time and adequate the moment. We accept bristles amateur left, followed by the appointment championships, which is two amateur and the NCAA tournament. My aftermost d is coming. I don’t appetite to anticipate abundant about that, either. It’s gone by so fast.”
After graduation, Cole is acquisitive to put her amount in concrete training to use, while additionally starting a career in apprenticeship somewhere. Alum academy is additionally a possibility.
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