Jade Eriksen-Russo, a 2017 graduate of Metea Valley high school, is still playing soccer close to home. Justin Cornwell check in on this month’s Where Are They Now athlete presented by Molly Maids of the Aurora Naperville Area.
Back to 2017
From 2014-2017, Metea Valley girls soccer was a thorn in the side of all the area teams. Never considered a top five team in the state, or even the favorite to win the daunting Dupage Valley Conference, the Mustangs made their marks by leaving it all on the field en route to four consecutive regional championships.
Maybe the heart and soul of those Metea teams was forward Jade Eriksen-Russo. The four year varsity player was a consistent scoring threat, finishing her career with 65 goals, just one behind the school’s All time leader.
With so little room for error, especially when navigating the IHSA playoffs in the Naperville area, Eriksen-Russo and her MV teammates not only won four straight regionals, they made it to the sectional finals in each over her four seasons. After putting up 18 goals and 11 assists as a junior, she raised her game even higher with 21 goals and 8 assists as a senior in 2017. After yet another sectional semi final upset win over Neuqua Valley, Eriksen Russo and midfielder teammate and Michigan recruit Nikki Hernandez had the Mustangs poised to lift their first ever sectional plaque. But Metea fell 1-0 in the sectional final against powerhouse Naperville North for the 2nd consecutive season. Despite seeing her final chance to make a state tournament appearance slip away, Jade hoped that she and her teammates were able to inspire the next generation of great Metea Valley players.
That fall the former Mustang stayed close to home but stepped up a level of competition by joining the Depaul Blue Demons of the Big East Conference. Playing in 11 games that season the freshman tallied her first career goal and assist in the same game against William and Mary that October.
Just like her high school career, Eriksen-Russo’s playing time and value to the team increased each consecutive season. Her goal scoring doubled each year, putting two in the net as a sophomore and four as a junior along with two assists in the fall of 2019.
According to Metea girls soccer head coach Chris Whaley, it was Jade’s work ethic and humble demeanor that allowed her to thrive as with the Mustangs as a team captain.
Heading into her senior season in the fall, Jade Eriksen Russo still brings the energy, the effort and the ear to ear smile to the Blue Demon pitch day after day.
Check out other past athletes in our Athlete Profiles!