Lexi Coull To Continue Soccer Career At Penn-West Clarion

Above – Lexi wirh her parents Rob and Jessica

Clarion Bobcats standout Lexi Coull , daughter of Rob and Jessica Coull, has decided to continue her soccer and academic career locally, signing to play for the Penn West – Clarion Golden Eagles.

Lexi is a recent graduate of Clarion-Limestone, which co-ops with Clarion in soccer.

Some of Lexi’s highlights from her outstanding high school career include: 4 time Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League (UAVSL) Girls All-Star; UAVSL Girls Small School South MVP as a senior; MaxPreps Pennsylvania Player of the Week; goals and assists leader for the UAVSL; number one in UAVSL South; Captain of the Clarion Area Bobcats Varsity team; broke the scoring record for Clarion Area.

Lexi shared some of the reasons she chose Penn West – Clarion. “I chose the school because I grew up here and have heard many great things about peoples experiences. I also played a lot of my games growing up at the university stadium, so it is a great opportunity to be able to continue my athletic career further, on that same field. Not only did I choose it for athletics, but it has a great education program that will better me to be a great elementary teacher one day.”

Lexi will be majoring in Early Childhood Education.

As to her future plans, “I plan to become an elementary teacher, as well as get married and start a family of my own.”

Lexi shared about what impressed her about her Golden Eagles soccer team. “The team seems very close and passionate which is something anyone would like to be a part of, as well as the coach being very driven and looking for what’s best for the team, which I like.”

Lexi will be under the tutelage of Golden Eagles Coach Jason Edwards, who is going into his second season as head coach.

He shared, “I’m originally from Wales, United Kingdom and I’m loving the challenge of brining my knowledge of European Football/Soccer and hopefully bring success to the program.

“We’ve bought Tessa Heffron from Virginia to help sure up our defense as well as 3 players locally from Butler, Madi Rose, Leah Deal and Paige Griest to help level the team.

“From the 2022 season we were able to double our goals scored in 2023. We’re hoping to increase the goal conversation in front of goal as well as sure up the defense to ensure we improve our record and work towards our goal of making play offs for the first time in program history and setting it as a corner stone to our future success.”

Coach Edwards had this to say about his new recruit, “Lexi impressed us with her ability to create situations out of nothing. Her direct nose to goal approach was something we could benefit from last season and we’re hoping to add layers within this 2024 class that will help us solve that issue. Lexi being a local player is exciting for us to be able to connect and show the pathway for players in the future to reach the collegiate level and allowing us as a school to be connected to the community.

“Lexi and her family embody the blue-collar working-class community that is Clarion which values we hold dear in the work ethic of our program to represent the community with the work we do on the field.”

And what does he project Lexie’s role will be? “Lexi will be competing within our roster to hold a role as a forward to help us get up the field and exploit other team defense. She has other skills that we can tap into that can help the team better improve our record.”

(Seated) Lexi with Clarion Head Coach Chris Shonbachler and Assistant Coach Nicki Glenn. (Back) Clarion-Limestone Athletic Director Brad Frazier

Lexi had a number of people who have been and are instrumental on her journey. “I would like to thank my parents for always coming to all my games and driving me anywhere I needed to go without a doubt. I want to thank my brother Austin for being a guide, teammate, and coach.

“I’m so thankful for all my coaches that have helped me along the way. Laura Sauers for being not only my coach but like my older sister. She coached, the Clarion River Valley Strikers teams from the start of the program and made mine and many others’ best memories. Thomas Hummel for showing me that I am capable with playing against anyone, especially my older brother.

“Thanks to all of my Strikers coaches in general that have coached me from 7 years old till now at 18. I am very thankful for my high school coaches Chris Schonbachler, Nicki Glenn, Stephanie Zacheral, and Courtney Schonbachler who have watched me grow the most as a player and person.”

Coach Chris Schonbachler In his last official act as Bobcats head coach, before retirement had some fine words to share about Lexi. “I would like to congratulate Lexi on her decision to continue her soccer career at Pennwest-Clarion.

“Lexi is one of the most competitive athletes I’ve ever had the honor of coaching. From the start of her freshman year Lexi was a team leader on and off the field. She was the player every one of our opponents built their game plan around. Further evidence of this is the fact that Lexi was voted to the All Conference team in each of her 4 years, culminating in her being voted All-Conference MVP her senior season. In her senior season, she scored an astonishing 44 goals, 8th best in the state of Pennsylvania.

“One of Lexi’s greatest attributes is her drive to always improve. I recall a game where she played very well, but struggled to score any goals. I knew that weekend she would be at the field working on her shooting skills, probably with her biggest fan, older brother Austin. I believe she notched 2 hat tricks over the next 4 games.

“The support from her family has played a large part in making Lexi the player, and person, she is today. I’m excited to see her further her soccer development at the college level, I’ll just have to get used to sitting with the fans!

“Congratulations once again Lexi, you’re an excellent soccer player, but an even better person.”

Lexi’s brother Austin said, “I’m very proud of Lexi. Playing and practicing with her has been one of the greatest joys of my life.”

Former Clarion River Valley Strikers coach Laura Sauers commented, “As one of her first soccer coaches, I knew Lexi was something special. Not only as a soccer player but as a person.

“Her love for the game of soccer was evident from the beginning. She was a work horse, had an eye for the goal and always gave her all at every practice and game.

“She was also a leader from a young age. She didn’t want to just succeed herself but wanted everyone else to succeed as well. Lexi is special and I have no doubt she will do well at the next level and in life.”

And finally some great words about Lexi and so many who have been/will be throughout the years, from her parents Rob and Jess Coull.

“We are proud of Lexi and excited for her next chapter. Lexi is going to be an amazing teacher! Soccer is icing on the cake! We have always joked that Lexi never learned to walk, just went straight to running! She put a soccer ball to her feet and off she went.

“Thank goodness for the Clarion YMCA and Clarion River Valley Strikers. Those organizations provided endless fun and soccer experiences. We pretty much lived at the Clarion County Park for years. We made new friends we would not have met otherwise. We also could have won an award for largest grandparent fan section!

New Penn West – Clarion recruit Lexi Coull!!

“We appreciate C-L and Clarion Area for providing a team for Lexi’s high school career. The administrations, ADs, and trainers were supportive of the team. Thank you for allowing Lexi to be a Clarion Bobcat on the field!

“Thank you to Coach Chris, Nicki, and Steph. Thank you for encouraging her and supporting her on and off the field. We also want to thank Coach Don, Kyle, and the boys’ teams over the years. They embraced Lexi playing with them and treated her as an equal. The Verdill boys pushed her to be her best.

“Our son, Austin, was an outstanding soccer player as well. He specialized in defense so who better to go up against than her brother! Thank you to little sister Taylor who has no interest in soccer but has lived at soccer fields most of her life! What a trooper!

“We appreciate Coach Edwards for giving Lexi the opportunity to continue wearing a Clarion jersey and play at the university stadium at the collegiate level. We know she will be supported at Penn West Clarion.”

(Congratulations to Lexi and her family, Clarion Area and C-L, the Golden Eagles and all the others so important to Lexi!!!!)