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Normally a center midfielder, Lydiatt has recently come into her own as a defender. The Oregon coaching staff, led by Kat Merz, helped sway the Colorado native to commit to the northwest program.
“I chose Oregon because of the way Coach Kat and Coach Hideki made me feel,” Lydiatt told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “It felt like a family atmosphere on my first visit. They have a passion for coaching and their enthusiasm was encouraging to me.”
Lydiatt went through the recruiting process, looking at several other schools, but the other programs failed to match what she first felt with the Ducks.
“After visiting other schools I kept going back to the great feeling the coaches at Oregon gave me and decided there wasn't anything else I was looking for,” she said. “Why wait? I was ready to make my decision.”
The area’s support of the program was another factor that convinced Lydiatt to make her commitment.
“When visiting the University of Oregon campus and the town of Eugene, people were wearing Oregon gear everywhere I looked,” she said. “I loved the community atmosphere and I could feel the support they give their athletes."
Joining Lydiatt in the 2016 class is Emily Kaestner, a technically sound midfielder from Texas.
As she began her college search, she was looking for many things, but two criteria in particular: heading out of state, and playing in either the ACC or Pac-12.
That eventually led her to pay a visit to the program in Eugene.
“I went for a visit to Oregon and watched them play Stanford,” Kaestner told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “The game was extremely competitive and I liked their style of play and I could see myself playing for Oregon. Once I talked with the coaches, I realized we shared a lot of the same goals and I decided playing for Oregon would be the perfect level of intense soccer and academics that I was looking for in a university.”
The ambition of Merz and the rest of the staff strongly appealed to the Challenge stalwart.
“I like the fact that the coaches are new and they are trying to build their program to be able to win the Pac-12 Conference,” she said. “They were honest about the work and the commitment that it would take to achieve that goal. I enjoy working hard and want to play for a program that has high standards for their players. I also want to play for coaches that I can continue learning from while I’m playing in college. I think Kat, Christie and Hideki will help me become a better player and I hope I can help Oregon win a conference title.”
Forward Hayden Pascoe (Century United Pittsburgh) committed to Kent State for the class of 2014.
Forward Laura Lainson (Strikers FC) committed to Iowa for the class of 2014.
Midfielder Audra Lewis (Hotspurs Classic SC) committed to Point Park for the class of 2014.