HAVERLING, N.Y. (WETM) – Two of the top soccer players in the entire region made their college plans official.
On the cusp of playing in the New York State Final Four this weekend, Haverling standouts Ella Yartym and Keegan Smith will play at the D-I level next year. Yartym, the school’s all-time leading scorer, signed to St. Bonaventure University to play for the Bonnies. While Smith put pen to paper Wednesday afternoon signing to the University of Arkansas to compete for the Razorbacks.
The two best friends have played the game since they were very young and are thrilled to go to the next big level.
“My parents can come drive to my games really easily,” Yartym said on going to St. Bonaventure. “As soon as I stepped on campus the girls treated my like I was one of their teammates and they took me under their wing.”
For Smith, going to Arkansas is about family as her Mom is from the same state. But, going to the SEC powerhouse program, which is seeded 2nd in this year’s NCAA Tournament, is proof that local talent can strive for excellence.
“All of the work I have put in has led to this moment,” Smith said. “Being from a small town it’s a big deal to a lot of people around, to show other girls that it’s possible means a lot to me.”
Haverling head coach Braedyn Northup believes this is a duo that may never be duplicated again in Ram history. As best friends, both Smith and Yartym have terrorized opposing defenses for years since their first varsity seasons over five years ago.
“Working together and watching them play together is an art form at times,” Northup said. “You’re like, I never coached that they just did that…it’s been really awesome.”
On the season, Yartym leads the team with 36 goals with Smith scoring 24. Smith leads the Rams in assists with 14 with Yartym right behind her at 13.
Haverling (18-1), ranked number one in the state in Class B, plays Section III’s Marcellus (13-3) Saturday morning at Cortland High School at 9:30 am. If the Rams can win, they will advance to the state finals for the second consecutive year. Babylon plays Saranac in the other semifinal at Noon following Haverling’s game.
The Rams lost 2-1 to Irvington in last year’s New York State Class B Soccer Championship.