Central’s Fadely signs to play women’s soccer at Longwood

Layne Fadely

WOODSTOCK – It’s been nearly two years since Layne Fadely made a verbal commitment to continue her soccer career at Longwood University on May 9, 2016. There was never a doubt since then about where she would end up in college, but the Central High School senior made things official with the Lancers this week.

Fadely signed her national letter of intent to play women’s soccer at Longwood on Wednesday, honoring the commitment she made to Lancers head coach Todd Dyer during her sophomore year.

“It feels great,” Fadely said on Thursday evening prior to an event to celebrate her milestone with friends and family at the Woodstock Brewhouse. “It’s a huge relief but also it just gets my excitement even more going because it has been about almost two years since I committed, so having it to be finally official is great.”

Fadely, who plays year-round for the Herndon United ’99 travel team, said at the time of her verbal commitment that making her college choice so far in advance of her senior season was a confidence boost that she hoped would propel her over the next two years. She said again on Thursday that was certainly the case, but added that her commitment then made her feel that she had something to prove each time she saw a Longwood coach at one of her matches.

“I had to prove to them that they made the right decision, that I still belong on their team,” she said. “It was still the same intensity but just switched the point of view I looked at it.”

Fadely said she received no official scholarship offers from any other schools after making her pledge to Longwood, and that her relationship with Dyer – who has coached the Lancers’ women’s soccer team since the program’s inception in 1994 – has grown considerably over the last two years.

Fadely said Dyer placed her and the rest of the Lancers’ 2018 recruiting class in a group chat – a group Dyer calls the “magpies,” Fadely said, because “supposedly we talk a lot in the group chat with him” – and she will room with a Herndon United teammate when both arrive in Farmville this fall.

“It’s just really great going into the school with a sense of pride and friendship with everyone,” Fadely said.

Since her commitment, Fadely made a positional switch on the field from striker to midfielder, the latter being the position she’s expecting to play at Longwood.

“I feel like I’ve really grown in that position because at first it was really hard for me to go from only focusing on scoring goals and helping the team win to more of a distribution position,” she said. “I would help others in the midfield because the midfield really has control of the whole game.”

At Longwood, Fadely will join a team coming off its best season as an NCAA Division I program. The Lancers went 13-5-3 in 2017, tying the program record for wins in a season as a D1 member and reaching the Big South Conference tournament championship for the first time in school history. Longwood fell to High Point, 1-0, in the title match.

The Lancers have had just one losing season since making the jump to Division I during the 2007-08 academic year.

“When I was committing I wanted to go to a program I felt that I could help make a difference,” Fadely said. “I felt at Longwood, they were already so good but I felt like the (incoming recruiting) class and myself could really help bring Longwood higher up in the tournament and to finally beat High Point and beat Liberty, the two rivals. So I’m hoping next year we finally beat High Point. It’s a huge goal to look forward to. That’s definitely a big goal of my personally, is to beat High Point, even though I’m not on the team yet. … I’ve been to a High Point-Longwood game and I just sat there wishing I could be out there helping them win.”

Another pair of Central senior student-athletes celebrated their collegiate futures on Thursday afternoon. Luke Estep (baseball) and Brooke Ryman (track and field) both plan to attend Division III Roanoke College.