ALTON — Maryville University recently inducted former Alton High School soccer player Christi Lindsay into the Maryville Saint’s Hall of Fame.
Lindsay played for the Saints during the 2004 to 2008 seasons and coached with the team as a grad assistant through the 2009 season.
During her career, the four-time, first-team St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference midfielder, led the Saints in games played (82), second all-time in game-winning goals (8) and assists (56), and third all-time in team total points (34 goals, 56 assists).
“Christi is one of those players who doesn’t come along very often in a coach’s life, and when they do, you cherish every moment, on and off the field. She was a tremendous soccer player, a great leader, a coach on the field, a joy to watch and a pleasure to coach,” said Eric Delabar, head coach of the Maryville Saints women’s soccer team. “As good a player as she was, she is an even better person...very caring, conscientious, quiet and unassuming, but possessing the ability to raise the level of her teammates and her friends as well.”
During the induction ceremony, Lindsay thanked her family, coach and teammates for the “awesome” experience of playing for the Maryville Saints.
“This is amazing. I never would have thought I would get into the Hall of Fame at Maryville University,” Lindsay said. “I have to thank my family – especially my dad. I think he only missed one tournament that was far away. I probably wouldn’t have been at Maryville without him. And Delabar, of course, I just love him. And my teammates….”
During Lindsay’s four years with the Saints, they amassed a 28-7-2 conference record and went 54-25-3 overall. Delabar said her presence made an impact on every game.
“She did so much to help our teams become more successful. She was a true leader. Other players had a tremendous amount of respect for her abilities, but there were also the intangibles she brought to the field as well,” Delabar said. “The teams she was on relied on her to provide that outstanding leadership. And her technical ability and tactical awareness made her a constant danger on the pitch.”
Lindsay started playing soccer at the age of 8. She said her parents always supported her athletic endeavors, but their focus was not on soccer.
“Dad insisted that I attend a college based on the strength of the education I would receive. Maryville had an excellent physical therapy program, and I had attended a soccer camp there as a kid,” Lindsay said. “He suggested that I apply. It worked out because playing soccer kept me out of trouble. I always felt like I had better balance when it was soccer season.”
The position of midfielder requires a player to not only be in superior physical condition, as they are required to cover both sides of the field, but also be able to read the field like a coach and anticipate what will happen next. The midfielder position is the transition point between defense and offense.
“One thing I could do was read the field very well. I got more assists than I did goals,” Lindsay said. “Having the ability to lead has always been important to me, both on the field and at my job. I try to do what is best for the team and leave everything on the table,”
Lindsay has put her education to good use as a physical therapist with OSF Saint Anthony’s Home Health Services. In her role as a physical therapist, she continues to utilize the lessons she learned on the pitch by helping people who have suffered a traumatic event in their life transition back to normal.
She offered the following advice to all athletes: “You have to remember that playing is a gift,” Lindsay said. “Work hard and try to be the best you can be everyday. You eventually get to the point where you’re playing your final game.”