Parada picks Luther College; Austin senior will continue playing soccer in college
Published 7:49 pm Monday, January 2, 2017
When Austin senior Matias Parada attended a Luther College soccer day camp two years ago, he didn’t think there would be any chance he would ever play for the Norse. But after moving from Tuscon, Arizona to Austin last year, Parada kept in contact with the team and he has now made his commitment to attend school and play soccer at Luther College, an NCAA Division III school in Decorah, Iowa.
Parada likes what Luther has to offer and it also helps that Austin head boys soccer coach Jens Levisen is a Luther grad.
“I’m super excited and it all seems kind of surreal. The biggest factor [for picking Luther] was Jens said nothing but good things about them,” Parada said. “When I visited the school everything just seemed to be a good fit.”
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Luther went 15-6-2 overall this past season as its season came to an end in a 2-0 loss to the University of Saint Thomas in the NCAA Division III tournament. Parada has been doing workouts with his older brother, who played college rugby, to prepare for making the jump to the college level.
He’s excited about the opportunity to play college soccer, especially after he and the Packers came up one win short of the state tournament this fall.
“Soccer’s been in my life since I was four years old and it was on the TV since I was a baby. My dad was a huge soccer fan and I’m so glad it doesn’t have to be over,” Parada said. “After that bummer of a loss at the end of the season, I’m really happy to be able to be able to play again.”
Parada said the move to Austin from Tuscon helped him realize that he wanted to play Division III soccer. He said he would’ve likely aimed at playing for a Division II or Division I school if he would’ve stayed in Arizona.
“I realized that DIII was the level I wanted to pursue,” Parada said. “Had I stayed in Tuscon, I would’ve tried to go to a higher level and who knows if I would’ve made it. Being here and playing with some of my friends, I realized this is the level for me. It’s a good mix of school and soccer.”
Parada scored 20 goals for the Packers this past fall.