Butte High’s Ludwick signs with Providence soccer

Butte High’s Ludwick signs with Providence soccer
With Butte High girls' soccer coach Riley McNabb by her side, Butte High senior Marti Ludwick signs an NAIA letter of Intent to play soccer for the University of Providence Wednesday afternoon at the Richardson Gym.

By Bill Foley

Wednesday afternoon was a dream come true for Marti Ludwick.

With family members looking on during a small ceremony at the Ross J. Richardson Memorial Gymnasium, the Butte High senior signed an NAIA Letter of Intent to play soccer for the University of Providence.

The Letter of Intent comes with a scholarship to attend the Great Falls school.

“I started getting really serious about it in sixth or seventh grade,” Ludwick said of the dream to play college soccer.

The signing comes after Ludwick started every varsity game for the Bulldogs for the past four seasons. It is part of a journey that began when Ludwick first played soccer at the age of 4.

“I loved it when I first started playing,” she said.

The Argonauts play in the Cascade College Conference in women’s soccer. Under 11-year-coach Brian Clark last season, Providence went 7-9 overall and 5-7 in conference. One of the roster players for the Argos is Butte High graduate Rylee Gonzalez, who played three years with Ludwick.

Butte High’s Marti Ludwick, left, gets off a shot on goal as Great Falls High’s Elle McCluey defends Sept. 1 at the Jeremy Bullock Complex. (Butte Sports file photo)

Ludwick said taking her game to the next level is going to be a challenge.

“It’s going to be a big change,” she said. “They’re a lot more aggressive, faster, bigger, stronger. I might be fast in high school. Everyone is fast and good in college.”

Butte High girls’ coach Riley McNabb has coached Ludwick in high school and at the club level for the past two years. He said she will handle the change.

“She is feisty, tenacious and aggressive,” McNabb said of Ludwick. “She’ll be strong with the ball. She’ll be just fine at the college level.”

McNabb said Ludwick’s strength is her speed and explosiveness.

“If she gets out, she can give it to any defense,” the coach said. “She’s super explosive and can score against any team. She’s kind of got that spark, too.”

Ludwick said she realized Providence was the right choice when she went for a campus visit last fall.

“I really like the way the team was,” she said. “Right when I got in, they were all introducing themselves. They made me like I was at home right away. I really like Brian and his coaching style.”

In addition to soccer, Ludwick also played three years on the Butte High varsity basketball team from her freshman through junior years. This year she will run track for the first time.

“I’m doing it this year, just to work on speed and keep in shape,” she said.

Ludwick, a 3.0 student, isn’t sure of her major just yet, though she is considering becoming a teacher or a veterinarian. Wednesday was a day about soccer.

McNabb said that ever since he’s known her Ludwick has talked about this day.

“It’s been a goal,” McNabb said. “I’m excited for her.”

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