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The Journey To The Next Level

  Women’s college soccer has taken off and become a exceedingly popular sport. Girls from all over the United States Dream for the opportunity of a lifetime to play college soccer. But how does one get the opportunity to sign with a college and live out their childhood dream? Like any collegiate sport, getting to […]

 

Women’s college soccer has taken off and become a exceedingly popular sport. Girls from all over the United States Dream for the opportunity of a lifetime to play college soccer. But how does one get the opportunity to sign with a college and live out their childhood dream?

Like any collegiate sport, getting to play collegiate women’s soccer has many steps to it. The major keys of playing a college sport include maintaining a high GPA and test scores and keeping skill level high. But it all comes down to the desire to play over academics and the talent of the student-athlete. This includes the will to reach out to college coaches, making an effort with e-mail and phone calls to get their attention, and consistently going to identification camps and college showcases. Christian Brothers is lucky to have juniors and seniors committing to D-I schools, in particular Ainsley Carroll (’20), who is in the midst of working out a verbal commitment with a D-I soccer program.

“I have been playing soccer since I was five and I always loved it, but it wasn’t until I started playing club soccer for Davis [Legacy] that I realized this was something I could pursue in college,” she says.

Ainsley adds that playing for her club team has given her the most exposure and outlets for help to go to the next level. Ainsley plays in the ECNL league¬†for the Davis Legacy’s 02 team, where she is given the opportunity to travel to tournaments and showcases to get exposure to college coaches.

“We have club meetings often to advise us on the steps we need to be taking in the recruiting process,” she says.

“My closet friends are my teammates” – Ainsley Carroll

She states that without the help of her club team, she wouldn’t be in the position she is now. She is thankful her coaches and parents for guiding her to the next level of soccer.

Starting the process around 2016-2017 came with its challenges as the NCAA created a new major rule on the age restriction of athletes who verbally commit. The newly instituted rule states that a coach is not allowed to reach out personally until an athlete’s junior year.

“I think this is a better rule than before,” she stated “Players were committing to play in college before they had fully developed. With so much time between being recruited and actually being in college, players changed a lot, some becoming worse or suffering from injuries that changed how they play.”

Players committing too early to colleges aren’t given the opportunity to fully develop, and coaches with players who too early are taking a chance and could end with a great player or a burden to the roster.

“I think committing as juniors gives colleges a more realistic idea of the type of players you are,” Ainsley says

As a junior talking to colleges, Ainsley has a lot to look forward to.

“I am really excited to be a part of a college team,” the junior says. “It will be nice going to school on the first day and already having a group of friends. The upperclassmen on the team will be helpful in the transition to college.”

Playing a collegiate sport doesn’t just mean working hard and playing the game — it comes with the perks of being a part of a family, and in Ainsley’s case, having a support team of sisters to help her along the way. But there are faults along with the perks. Unlike going into college as a student, you are going in as a student-athlete, packing on responsibilities of being a excellent student and maintaining your skill and conditioning as a athlete.

“It’s a big commitment and I will have to be better at balancing schoolwork with soccer practices and games as well as my social life,” Ainsley says.

The Christian Brothers community is honored to have young women coming out of our school committed and playing Division I sports. For any girls seeking to play collegiate soccer, make sure to reach out to your fellow peers like Ainsley to get some more information. Everyone is capable of reaching their goals, it’s just all about how you choose to approach them.

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