Former Eastern soccer standout Kelli McGroarty heading to Iowa

by Marc Narducci | Jan 7, 2023
Former Eastern soccer standout Kelli McGroarty heading to Iowa
Kelli McGroarty is up for a new challenge. After three highly successful soccer seasons at La Salle University, the former star at Eastern High is moving to the Big 10, where she will compete for the University of Iowa.

 McGroarty, an attacking midfielder who played for her father Jamie at Eastern, was a First-Team All-Atlantic 10 selection this past season. She had six goals and five assists, which put her in the top 10 among A-10 players in both categories.

She was tied for eighth in the A-10 in both goals and assists. This past season McGroarty had two game-winning goals and her best performance was when she registered a hat trick during a 3-1 victory at Fordham.

La Salle finished this season 8-8-2 and 3-6-1 in the A-10. As a freshman, she was named to the A-10 All-Rookie team. La Salle played just nine games and the season was moved to the spring due to COVID. McGroarty had five goals and an assist in the nine games. As a sophomore in the fall of 2021, she scored three goals before breaking out in her junior year. 

Now McGroarty will be joining an Iowa team that went 5-6-7 overall and 2-3-5 in the Big 10.

“I had great coaching and teammates at La Salle, but I decided to see what else is out there to better my game,” she said.

She said playing in the Big 10 will help her improve. So will go up against Big 10 players each day in practice.

“Iowa didn’t have the best year last season, but they had some tough injuries and started off strong and beat a lot of teams or tied teams that were above them,” she said. “I feel the Big 10 in general, you never know who will win, it’s such great competition.”

Even though McGroarty has played three seasons, she still has two years of eligibility left. The NCAA didn’t count the COVID year on a player’s eligibility.

McGroarty will bring one of the most coveted skills to Iowa, the ability to finish.

At Eastern, she owns the program record for career points (275), goals (108), goals in a season (40) and points in a season (100). She was a key member of Eastern’s 2018 state Group 4 championship team, scoring 37 goals, including the lone score in the Viking's 1-0 state Group 4 title win over Bridgewater Raritan.

Her goal-scoring ability continued at La Salle and now she hopes to add to the offense at Iowa.

She will soon be leaving for her new school and will have the benefit to work out with the team during spring practice.

“I wanted to get accustomed to the team before the fall season, so it will be a big help to be there in the spring,” she said.

A Communications major, McGroarty says that she would like to earn her master’s degree with the extra year of eligibility and her eventual goal is to become a college soccer coach.


Author: Marc Narducci

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