After deciding to compete in club soccer during her junior year, Erin Duffy plans to return to a familiar setting next fall.
Duffy, a forward who currently is playing for Ohio Premier, has decided to spend her senior season with the Grove City High School girls team.
The University of Cincinnati commit was a key player for the Greyhounds the past two years. She had nine goals as a freshman and was named second-team all-OCC-Ohio Division, and she led the team with 19 goals last season and again was second-team all-league.
"I'm coming back to Grove City for my senior year because I want to play for the high school again since it's my senior year and I want to graduate with my class," Duffy said. "I'm definitely going to do that."
Duffy, who also plays for Barcelona United in the spring, added a reason for her decision to return to Grove City was the relationships she has developed with coach Josh Keller and her Greyhounds teammates.
"It was a tough decision (to leave) because I love all the girls on the team and they were really supportive, and Keller was really supportive with everything," Duffy said. "They always tried to get me through all my situations and problems throughout the years, so it was hard to switch from high school to a new club team. It was different."
Without Duffy this season, Grove City was 11-3-1 overall and 3-0-1 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Pickerington North for the league title Oct. 10. The Panthers also were 3-0-1 in the league.
Keller said he wants to stay focused on this season before looking ahead to next year.
"I'm 100 percent focused on the 2017 season and our run in the (Division I) district tournament," he said. "This winter, we will be prepping for the 2018 season and I anticipate having a discussion with Erin at that time."
Duffy withdrew from Grove City late last month to continue her education through ECOT, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, so she could better manage schoolwork and club soccer.
She has missed the last month of action with Ohio Premier after suffering a left foot injury during a game and was administered shots to help deal with the inflammation.
However, she also has an ankle issue and is in a protective boot while awaiting the final diagnosis.
"I got cleated in the foot, but the doctor saw something wrong in my ankle MRI and we have to figure out what it is and if I need surgery or shots," Duffy said. "The ankle injury is separate. They said I was born with it."
Duffy verbally committed to Cincinnati during her sophomore year. A strong reference from Bearcats assistant coach and recruiting director Matt Cosinuke led to her joining Ohio Premier.
"Unless a kid comes for tryouts, I don't get a good opportunity to see some of the local kids," Ohio Premier coach Willie Gage said. "How she came on our radar was from where she plans on going to college through their coaches and they said you have to see this kid. ... As soon as you saw her out there her first few days you could tell that she's a Division I soccer athlete and she's the kind of player we're used to having."
Duffy said her time with Ohio Premier has "really helped me open my eyes to what more I could do on the field."
She began playing soccer around age 3 and had her first experience in club soccer with Columbus Crew Juniors at age 7. She joined Barcelona United when she was 14.
Duffy's brothers, Michael and Tim, both played at the prep level. Michael went on to play two years at Ohio Christian before a recurring ankle injury ended his playing career.
"Both brothers have an overwhelming influence for their sister, which seems to help keep her focused both on and off the field," said their father, Sean Duffy.