Soccer Adds Colombian Striker Gabriela Maldonado

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
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Soccer Adds Colombian Striker Gabriela Maldonado

BATON ROUGE — After signing in-state striker Alex Thomas to a National Letter of Intent as part of Wednesday’s National Signing Day, LSU Soccer has added even more firepower to its front line with Thursday’s announcement that Colombian Under-17 international Gabriela Maldonado has also joined the program for the 2015 season.

A rising star in the Colombian Women’s National Team system, Maldonado emerged as one of her nation’s top young talents while representing Colombia at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup held in the Eastern European nation of Azerbaijan. She hails from Colegio Nueva Granada in the Colombian capital of Bogota.

Maldonado joins LSU’s Class of 2015 that already features one of the top high school recruits in the Southeast in Thomas as the reigning Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year from the 2014 season.

While earning extensive experience on the international stage with the U-17 Colombian Women’s National Team, Maldonado started all three group-play matches for her country at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in the fall of 2012. She even scored her first career World Cup goal on the stroke of halftime in the 44th minute in a 4-0 win over host Azerbaijan in Colombia’s opening match of the tournament.

Maldonado also earned a start in Colombia’s next match in the group stage, a narrow 1-0 defeat to Canada that featured future LSU teammate Summer Clarke scoring the game’s only goal scorer. She ended her World Cup experience in Colombia’s lineup that faced Nigeria in the final match of group play, logging 210 minutes of action during the competition.

Maldonado has also competed internationally while representing her country in a bronze-medal-winning third-place finish at the Conmebol South American U-17 Championship in 2012, and at the Copa Libertadores de America Qualification Tournament in three-straight years from 2012-14.

Fans should stay tuned Friday as the LSU Soccer program announces the signing of its final member of the Class of 2015 to a National Letter of Intent while looking ahead to the 2015 season. Daily recruiting updates and complete player bios will be posted through Friday on http://LSUsports.net as fans can get the most up-to-date information on our newest Tigers who will compete in the fall.