Fortner signs Thornley to play soccer
Midfielder is woven from Marcus' winning fabric
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University has added a skilled offensive performer to the 2013 women’s soccer team with the signing of Madeleine Thornley.
The graduate of Edward S. Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas (northwest of Dallas, pop. 65,000), Thornley was a key player for the Lady Marauders.
Familiar with winning, she can bring that work ethic to the college level in the fall.
The Class 5A power went 22-3-1 this year under Head Coach Chad Hobbs. The Marcus girls team has gone 60-6 in Hobbs three seasons at the helm.
The team won the District championship in 2011 and has led the nation in shutouts in both 2011 and 2012.
An impressive win for the Red & Silver came in a 4-0 taming of the Mansfield HS Tigers (22-4) in the regional quarterfinals.
Marcus advanced to the regional finals the past two seasons.
The Marauders, a mascot that is akin to Texas Tech’s masked rider, won the state championship as recently as 2005. A culture of winning has been prevalent at the school (see their other championship teams below).
According to the Denton County Sports News, Thornley was also considering Dallas Baptist University and the University of Mary Hardin Baylor. Both the Patriots and UMHB Crusaders are members of the NCAA's Division 2.
She has experience playing at outside and center midfield positions as well as the frontline at forward.
“We are very pleased to have Maddie coming to SAGU,” said Lady Lions third year Head Coach Mandy Fortner. “She dribbles well and is strong on the ball.”
“I like the fact that she is very aggressive and presses hard toward the goal.”
Thornley has also played club soccer for the Aces 93 team, coached by Jim Zakel, and Kevin White’s Aces 94.
Thornley plans to major in Social Work.
She is one of seven children to parents Bert and Donna Thornley.
Her siblings are; Mason (20), Miriam (17), Melody (15), Micah (13), Mia (8) and Matthew (6).
About SAGU Women's Soccer
The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is just four miles south of Flower Mound. Should Thornley’s game elevate, the Lady Lions’ could be destined to their first winning season in their seven year history.
SAGU finished 5-3-1 a year ago for their best-ever record of 6-11-1. They posted a 4-5-1 mark in the Red River Athletic Conference, narrowly missing out on qualifying for a berth in the RRAC tournament.
The Purple Pride’s 1.56 goals per game average were fifth best (28 goals scored) among 11 teams in the Red River. They were sixth in goals allowed (32) at 1.78 per game.
In Coach Fortner’s first year on the sideline in 2011, SAGU netted just 13 goals, an 0.72 gpg average. They surrendered 51 goals, or 2.83 per contest. In 2010 they booted just seven goals in 17 games.
SAGU will join the Sooner Athletic Conference this year, and are scheduled for 10 league games.
Last year the Lady Lions had two of their home games broadcast on-line in High Definition, the only NAIA school in the nation to enjoy such coverage. While an official announcement has yet to be made, Coach Fortner hopes to have a few games broadcast again this fall.
The team will report to pre-season camp on Monday, August 12. Their 18-game schedule is already posted on the SAGU website.
Fortner has also indicated that she expects a dozen returning players from last year’s team. As for newcomers, including scholarships and walk-ons, she looks for another dozen players.
The Lady Lions wear all-white uniforms at home, complete with purple lettering and numerals.
Additionally, new road threads will be introduced this year.
Note: Flower Mound Marcus H.S. has won state championships in girls soccer (2005), football (1997), boys basketball (2011), twice in boys soccer (2007, 2008) while the girls cross country team has multiple state titles.
The Marcus Marching Band has won state in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 while their drumline has claimed 11 national crowns.