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Soydara Decides on Dickinson State

By Dickinson State Press Release, 10/26/23, 7:45PM CDT


Dickinson State women’s golf made an impact signing this week, as head coach Thadd O’Donnell announced the signing of junior college standout Ellia Soydara. Soydara, a rising star in collegiate women's golf, has achieved remarkable milestones during her tenure at Minnesota State Community and Technical College - Fergus Falls Campus. A current sophomore majoring in Psychology with a minor in Criminology, Soydara's dedication to both academics and athletics has set her apart as a student-athlete of exceptional merit. At Dickinson State, she will pursue a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice.


"We're absolutely ecstatic to have Ellia join our team!” said O’Donnell. “Her excepiononal talent and unwavering dedication add an incredible dynamic to our roster. Together, with Ellia on board, we're primed for a season of incredible achievements next fall!"

Soydara's golf career has been marked by exceptional achievements, including her best tournament round of 66 at Pebble Lake Golf Course, and a notable two-day tournament round of 68-69 at CrossRoads Golf Course. Her sophomore season scoring average of 75.9 over 10 rounds has earned her the distinction of setting a new M-State women's golf individual record.

Among her many achievements, Soydara's highlights include:

• 2023 Most rounds carded in the 60’s (3 rounds), New M-State women’s golf Individual record.
• 2023 Medalist Honors at Valley City State University Fall Invite (68-69), New M-State women’s golf individual two-day low round record.
• 2023 Medalist Honors at Spartan Invitational (66), New M-State women’s golf individual low round record.
• 2023 First Team All-American Honors at NJCAA Division III National Championship, New M-State women’s golf individual low round record in modern history.

Her prowess on the golf course extends back to high school, where she earned multiple accolades, including MN State High School Coaches Association All-State Honors.

Off the course, Soydara is committed to her education. She is on track to graduate with an Associates of Arts this spring and is seeking to further her education in the field of forensic psychology. With aspirations to work for the FBI, she is actively looking for a school that provides a strong foundation in this field and offers connections to advance her career.

In her own words, "I love golf, and it is my second priority next to my education. I put in the hours and energy, not only on the golf course, but in the weight room as well. I am looking for a coach who is as competitive as me, but also has a good handle on the mental side of the game."

"We are so happy for Ellia and this opportunity," commented M State Head Coach Jason Retzlaff.  "She works as hard as anyone to be successful on and off the golf course.  It is wonderful to see that hard work be rewarded.  She will continue to do great things at Dickinson after her time at M State is complete."

Ellia will be competing at the NJCAA Division III National Championship at Chautauqa, New York June 4-7, 2024.