After finishing her time at Eastern Florida State College on a high note thanks to a history-making national title win, exciting Bunbury product Courtney Butlion has taken the next step in her promising soccer career.
The former South West Academy of Sport scholarship holder and Fremantle City player has signed on to La Salle University in Philadelphia after wrapping up a memorable two-year program with the Eastern Florida Titans.
Butlion enjoyed a successful stint at Eastern Florida and the highlights she takes with her to Philly range from scoring a brace in her Titans debut to being part of two national tournaments including last year’s triumphant game against Tyler Junior College.
2021 marked the first time the women’s soccer team had claimed the NJCAA Division National Championship and the university’s first title since the men’s golf team won a national title in 1991.
In celebration of the victory, the players were honoured at a ceremony at Orlando Health Stadium on Eastern Florida’s Melbourne campus. They were also recognised by the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee and the City of Palm Bay by the Mayor during a council meeting.
“Since Eastern Florida is only a two-year program, you have to transfer after the two, so after the National Tournament I began to email Division 1 (D1) schools and I found that I had a really good connection on my first Zoom call with all the La Salle coaches,” Butlion said.
“I then later went on an official visit to the school. I committed to La Salle on my visit as I loved the culture of the team and I felt the program was the right fit for me.
“I’m excited to be able to take my soccer to the next level and play against the best of the best in America.
“Going D1 is the next step in my career which can help me earn a degree and be potentially scouted to play professionally.”
Butlion, who plays any front three positions on the soccer field with a preference for the Striker role, said being able to follow her dream to the US on a student-athlete scholarship has been the best thing that has ever happened to her.
“I have got to experience so many different things and places, have made friends from all over the world who feel like family, and you learn so much about yourself that you didn’t know,” Butlion said.
“The only hard part I would say is not being able to go home for almost two years.”