Belchertown’s Avery Klingensmith signs letter of intent to play soccer at American University

  • Belchertown’s Avery Klingensmith is surrounded by her family while signing her National Letter of Intent to play Division 1 soccer at American University in Washington, D.C. during a ceremony at Belchertown High School on Thursday. STAFF PHOTO/HANNAH BEVIS

  • Belchertown’s Avery Klingensmith is surrounded by her senior teammates while signing her National Letter of Intent to play Division 1 soccer at American University in Washington, D.C. during a ceremony at Belchertown High School on Thursday. STAFF PHOTO/HANNAH BEVIS

Staff Writer
Published: 11/18/2021 6:10:17 PM

BELCHERTOWN — Surrounded by teammates, coaches, family and friends, Belchertown midfielder Avery Klingensmith signed her National Letter of Intent on Thursday afternoon to play soccer at Division I American University next year.

The senior was part of No. 5 ranked Belchertown’s extended state tournament run, as the Orioles made it all the way to the Division 3 semifinals before falling to No. 1 Norwell earlier this week.

“She’s just a unique player and will be missed, and she’s one of those players that are kind of irreplaceable in some regard with her work ethic and what she brings to the table every day,” Belchertown girls coach Kyle Thibeault said. 

Klingensmith scored 17 goals and eight assists for 25 points in her senior season, tying her highest point total from the 2019-20 season.

“She has been an impact player since day one with her playing ability, soccer IQ, and her drive and her passion for the game,” said Thibeault, who spoke before Klingensmith signed her letter on Thursday. “If you drive by here in the summertime and you see someone knocking a soccer ball around, 99.9 percent of the time it’s Avery by herself, training and prepping herself for the upcoming season.”

Klingensmith is one of Belchertown's all-time greats, establishing her presence on every field she's played on. She was the only junior named to the Division 1 All-State team in 2020.

“I'm definitely really excited. It's great being able to sign my Letter of Intent and know that I have my plan set for college,” Klingensmith said on her signing. “It's just really exciting to know that I'll be there next year playing on the soccer team.” 

Klingensmith originally looked at a few other schools that were a little closer to home, but the further she got into the process, the more she knew that American University in Washington, D.C. was the best fit for her, both on and off the pitch.

“I originally wasn't looking at further away schools, but as I kept looking, (American) got higher on my list because of the school and everything I liked about it,” Klingensmith said. “They also play a lot of local games (against) Holy Cross and BU, which are closer, so that factored into my decision too, knowing that I would be closer to home with some of the games.”

Klingensmith was also drawn to the academic benefits that American University offered, something important to her as a student-athlete.  She said she couldn’t pass up the combination of the academic and athletics at American.

“I chose American because of the level of soccer and academics. It was really a good fit for me. Also, DC is a great location, and I got to know the coaches really well,” Klingensmith said. “And the Patriot League, it's a great league and fits me both academically and athletically.”

It was clear from the small crowd of about 30 people who stayed to watch her sign her letter that Klingensmith has had a lot of support on her journey to play Division 1 soccer. She said she was grateful to everybody who's supported her on her journey there. 

“I want to thank my parents for everything they've done for me over the years, driving me to practices and everything and helping me achieve everything I want to,” Klingensmith said. “Also all the coaches I've played for over the years (for) helping me to be the best player I can be, and my friends and teammates for being so supportive of everything I've done.”


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