LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Caroline Lutz vividly remembers stepping foot on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's campus.
"As soon as I was there, I loved it," said Lutz.
Lutz took an unofficial visit to the school in Sept. of 2019. On Wednesday, the Central Catholic soccer standout signed her national letter of intent to play for the Cougars.
"It's surreal," Lutz said. "The day I committed was probably one of the best days of my life. It's just like a huge weight lifted off your shoulders and knowing that I still get to play the game that I love at the next level is just so awesome."
Lutz picked SIUE over Marshall and Coastal Carolina. One reason Lutz decided to continue her soccer career in Edwardsville: family.
"Location was a big factor," said Lutz. "My family is a huge part of my success. I'm super close with them."
Lutz helped CC capture its first state championship in program history on Oct. 30.
The senior finished with 28 goals and 29 assists for the season.
SIUE has known about Lutz for dating back to her sophomore year at Central Catholic.
The next time Lutz plays in a game will come as a freshman in a Cougars' uniform.