Maddie Holmes wants to maximize her final season as a Golden Flash

After a lengthy layoff, senior Maddie Holmes is geared up and ready to represent her native Northeast Ohio and Kent State University during her final year as an NCAA soccer player. Holmes grew up in Bay Village, Ohio, a small city residing next to Lake Erie, west of Cleveland. “Growing up in a small town like Bay Village was an awesome experience for me, we have a very close-knit and supportive community there and I had such close relationships with my teachers, coaches, and classmates there,” she said. “Some of my favorite parts of growing up there was how small the town was, I could ride my bike, run, or drive anywhere in town and be there in about 5 minutes. It was nice growing up right next to Crocker Park (an open-air mall in Westlake), I would spend a lot of time there.”

“Also, growing up just outside of Cleveland was so fun because I have always been a huge Cleveland sports fan and would attend Cavs games, Browns games, and Indians games which was always a blast, win or lose!”

While Maddie obviously excelled on the soccer pitch, she also lettered in basketball and volleyball at Bay High School. With the constant debate of whether or not kids should specialize in one sport, Holmes weighed in with her first-hand experience. “Yes, I was a multiple sport athlete and I loved every second of it! I think that playing multiple sports helped me in working different muscles of my body at different times and I wasn’t only focusing on one sport and over-working the same muscles all year long,” she said. “I also think that playing multiple sports gave me an advantage when I came into college and decided to finally just commit to one sport. I had unlocked my true potential for soccer when I dedicated the full time to the sport.”

This spring, the Golden Flashes will finally return to the pitch for the first time since 2019, when they finished with a 6-9-3 record. When asked about her individual and team goals for this season, the 2018 All-MAC second team performer answered, “Yes, I definitely have some individual and team goals for this season! An individual goal would definitely be to improve my own stats for goals and assists and even pick up a MAC award for my senior season.”

“As for the team, I think we are very capable and expect nothing less than to improve our record and compete for a MAC championship. All in all, I would love to just enjoy and just have fun for my last games as a Kent State athlete and playing with and for my teammates and best friends.”

That final season will kick off on March 4th when Kent State hosts the University of Buffalo. Maddie said, “I am very excited to get back into a sense of regular season! I have been waiting and training since we got delayed in March and am finally feeling like all the hard work and individual training is going to pay off now that season is finally starting! I’m excited to start my last season on a positive note!”

With her time winding down at KSU, Holmes is able to reflect on her time in Kent, Ohio. “Kent State was such an awesome experience for me and I cherish the memories and friendships I have made along the way,” she shared. “One of my favorite memories from soccer was winning the MAC regular season championship as a freshman, our team dynamic and relationships were unbeatable.”

“Outside of soccer, my favorite memories have been the life-long friendships I have made here. A lot of my closest friendships have come from past teammates that I look to as sisters, also my life-long friendships with all of the other Kent State sports teams and other athletes. I will forever be grateful to have played Division 1 soccer at Kent State, it has given me so much and truly shaped me into the person I am today.”

Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.