by Marty Simpkins
WAKE FOREST — Four Wake Forest soccer players and a softball player made their college commitments last week.
For softball, Chelsey Cunningham signed with Newberry College in South Carolina. The senior pitcher will study biology and plans on going to graduate school to be a physical therapist.
"I really like the coaches, the team and the atmosphere of the campus," Cunningham said. "It has a small town feel and I really liked everything about it."
Cunningham has been on the varsity softball team for all four years. She helped the Cougars accumulate 68 wins in the past four seasons.
"My favorite memory was my freshman year when we went to the state finals," Cunningham said. "We didn’t come out with a win, but we rallied together, especially in the first game."
For soccer, Will Rudolph signed with Denison University in Ohio. The senior forward will study pre-med.
"Denison’s coach was the first one to contact me," Rudolph said. "I really liked the coaches and the campus. They have a great athletic facility and great fields."
In his last season on Wake Forest’s soccer team, Rudolph scored seven goals and recorded six assists. He also played for the 98 Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) Red team for club soccer.
"I’m going to miss all my teammates and coaches at CASL," Rudolph said. "Wake Forest is a great town. We’re all kind of in our own little bubble. I’m also going to miss my family of course."
Josh Coan will also be going out of state to play soccer, as he signed with the University of Pittsburgh. The midfielder will study business.
"I like the coaching staff a lot and I think they can help me pursue my athletic career beyond college," Coan said.
Coan didn’t play for Wake Forest’s soccer team, but he played for the Capital Area Railhawks Academy.
"I’m going to miss all the connections and friends I have here at Wake Forest," Coan said. "It’s going to be a good step to meet some new people in the next chapter of my life."
Railhawks teammate and Wake Forest classmate Dylan Chain signed with UNC Wilmington. The defender will also study business.
"I visited the campus and I love the beach," Chain said. "I love the soccer facility and the soccer team. I’m just excited to be there."
Chain earned Academic All-Conference in both his freshman and sophomore year at Wake Forest. He also reached the 2012 regional playoffs as a member of the Capital Area Railhawks.
UNC Wilmington’s soccer coach, Aidan Heaney, released a statement about having Chain join the Seahawks soccer team.
"Dylan can play left back or left midfield," Heaney said. "He has great endurance to get up and down the pitch and is a wonderful crosser of the ball."
Chain played both on the CASL Red team and the Railhawks during his high school years.
"The biggest thing "I’m going to miss is playing at CASL," Chain said. "All of my coaches have gotten me to where I am today. My parents have also helped me get to this point."
The last Wake Forest soccer player to sign was Connor Cochrane. The goalkeeper committed to UNC Greensboro and will study sports marketing.
"I really like the campus and they have a good business school that I want to go into," Cochrane said. "I really like the coaching staff. They made me feel really welcome when I visited. You can walk right from the dorms to the practice field."
In his senior year, Cochrane had 224 saves and posted four shutouts.
"I’m really proud of all that I accomplished here," Cochrane said. "This year has been a big stepping stone for the Wake Forest soccer program. I’m thankful for everything Wake Forest and CASL have done for me."