Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
While it obviously takes skill to get on our radar, our program has seen success enough that it takes much more than that to become and stay on our radar now.
We used to recruit strictly based on skill but have found that character guys are the guys that we find the most success with now. We look at how you work in warm-ups, how you interact with your coaches and teammates, and how you respond to the referee or adverse conditions. When you can fill a room with versions of the same person the chemistry is going to come pretty naturally, and when you fill the room with guys who love the game and are great people you stop wasting your time dealing with cliques or rival groups within the team.
We want “we” guys, not “me” guys. We recruit the players that are going to be able to help our program on and off the field. We want players that love to compete in the classroom and on the field, that get upset when their teammates beats them at practice or by 1 point on the last quiz. Having smart players leads to being able to play smarter soccer so academics are another obvious cornerstone of our recruiting process; with our institution being a small private one, and us playing at the D3 level, we offer no athletic scholarships so having the academic talent to support the soccer talent is only going to make you a more appealing prospective student athlete.
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
We have a current player who was one of our top recruits in his class coming into the program. He was talented although he looked awkward on the field and while playing. His academics were strong as was his reputation and pedigree from club soccer. He has been a 4 year varsity player for us and continues to play well for us and knows his role on the field. However, where he truly excelled and impressed our staff was in his off the field activities. He is a member of President’s Club, on the cover of multiple University publications and was the winner of the NCAA Elite 89 Award- which is awarded to the athlete who attends the Final 4 of the NCAA tournament and has the highest GPA of all participating athletes of that gender. He continues to impress by wanting to be involved in helping us guide this years incoming freshman class and wants to help anytime that we have recruits on campus to promote the program and help it continue the tradition of success that we have built as a staff.