Shout Maddison to Gi Krstec as she’s walking away, and odds are she will not turn around.
Her parents were originally going to name her Gia, but settled instead on Maddison. Her mother, though, kept calling her Gi from the first moment she can remember.
The nickname stuck along the way, and there was no name applauded more during the high school girls soccer season at Lakewood Ranch High School than hers.
Krstec was the driving force behind the Mustangs’ attack, and her skill was rewarded with a scholarship to the University of Maryland on national signing day. Krstec signed with the Terrapins inside Lakewood Ranch’s auditorium on Wednesday, the first day of the signing period for football and soccer players.
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“There were a lot of schools from Florida and other states, but I liked Maryland the best,” Krstec said.
Choosing the Terps means a departure from the Sunshine State’s year-round warm weather, but it’s a challenge Krstec is prepared for.
“It’s a big step, but I’m excited to go out of state,” Krstec said.
Krstec said she doesn’t know what position she’ll play in college, but is most comfortable playing the attacking midfield role she was in with Lakewood Ranch the past couple seasons.
“I think she’s a special kid,” Lakewood Ranch athletic director Shawn Trent said. “She’s done a great job and been a leader for us. ... To go to that level of soccer is pretty special.”
Other soccer signings on Wednesday were Lakewood Ranch’s Makenzie Fischer (Cumberland University) and Connor Bezet (Southeastern University); Manatee’s Sydney Cornell (Stetson) and Amelia Greaves (Palm Beach Atlantic); Palmetto’s Kaitlyn Jones (Belmont Abbey); IMG Academy’s Lorena Lopez Miranda (Louisiana Tech) and Charli Pogany (Georgetown) and Cardinal Mooney’s Alex Turner (Mercer).
Area programs also honored athletes from other sports during their signing ceremonies on Wednesday.
They were Lakewood Ranch’s Mackenzie Meyer (Princeton softball) and Madison Yoder (State College of Florida softball); Manatee’s Charles Small (Tiffin wrestling); Palmetto’s Luci Derrick (UCF rowing) and Samantha Urbina (College of Central Florida softball) and Cardinal Mooney’s Matt Nasser (Southern Methodist swimming) and Alex Rodman (South Alabama baseball).
The early signing period for all other sports was in early November, and the regular signing period for those sports begins April 12.