Junior Cate Childers verbally commits to play Division I soccer at Colgate University


Photo credit: Olivia Hokanson

Junior Cate Childers poses in a Colgate University soccer jersey to celebrate her commitment to their Division I women’s soccer team. From starting soccer at age 4 to joining the recruiting pool freshman year to committing to Colgate April 29, Childers said she is relieved and excited to see what the future holds. 

By Lucy Williams, Voices Editor

Seniors arrived on campus wearing hats and sweatshirts to display pride in their chosen college May 1, bonding over pizza parties, pennant hangings and Kahoots for National College Decision Day. However, one outlier was also celebrating her collegiate future: a junior. Cate Childers (’24) verbally committed to play Division I soccer at Colgate University Saturday, April 29.

Childers has played on her club soccer team, the LA Breakers, since she was in fifth grade and started playing soccer at 4 years old. She spent the last two years in the recruiting process and playing in front of college coaches at soccer showcase tournaments. She made highlight reels and sent around 50 follow-up emails to coaches after each tournament.

Colgate’s Head Women’s Soccer Coach Lyndse Hokanson has been in contact with Childers since they met at a showcase in November, and Childers visited the school in March. Hokanson offered her the position Thursday, April 20, so Childers had to decide between Colgate University’s Division I program and Amherst College’s Division III program. After a week and a half, Childers picked up the phone, parents by her side, and accepted Colgate’s offer.

“I feel relieved because this took a long time. Everyone feels behind because if certain people commit in their summer after their sophomore year, it feels like you’re running out of time with schools,” Childers said. “It didn’t hit me for a bit that I finally closed it out, but I’m very happy.”

Archer Athletics partners with the college guidance department to help students with continuing their sport in college. Athletic Director Kim Smith has been watching Childers play over her years at Archer and said she’s very excited to see what this next chapter holds for her.

“She’s an incredibly influential captain of the soccer team and one of our top scorers, leading on and off the field,” Smith said. “We’re incredibly proud of her, and it’s so great to see someone so passionate about their sport that they want to continue to play. It’s been great to watch her work through that and find a school that’s a great fit for her level of play and academics.”

Archer will host a schoolwide signing ceremony for Childers in November. In the fall, when her peers approach the time to apply to college, Childers’ process will be different. She is still required to formally apply to Colgate, but as long as she maintains her academic standing, she is guaranteed admission.

“If you don’t know what you want to do, the opportunity can get away from you, and it can get too late to commit,” Childers said. “Even in sixth grade, one of my coaches had a conversation with [my club team] about it, and all of us said we wanted to play in college. When people started committing this year, it made me really stressed; there are not many spots at Division I schools, so I doubted that I wouldn’t be recruited in time.”

Childers will continue to play on the Archer varsity soccer team for her last year of high school. Sophomore Katie Borris plays with her and said the entire team will miss Childers’ leadership, talent and positivity once she graduates.

“Her skills are much better than the majority of us, but it doesn’t show in who she is as a person; she doesn’t even know she’s incredible,” Borris said. “We’re always laughing and making jokes, and I don’t want to play on the team without her when she graduates. She’s a little aggressive, but in a good way, to get us all ready.”

Childers said she is especially excited since she will play for Colgate alongside two of her current club teammates. She is confident Colgate and its soccer team will challenge her and bring exciting experiences after she leaves Archer.

“I’ve always liked very competitive, physical sports, but I love soccer because being on a team has raised my confidence so much. I’ve learned how to be a leader and speak up,” Childers said. “I’m also very excited to go to the East Coast, which’ll be a new experience. It’s a small school, which is what I wanted, in a rural, beautiful place. It’s small enough that I feel like I can have a community.”