Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
The qualities we look for in our athletes are probably pretty similar to other women’s soccer programs and coaches in general- athleticism, technical ability, passion for the game and a willingness to be coached. Those are certainly vital. But more than those, the 2 things that I think will predict success are a borderline insane desire to achieve. I want people who are fanatical about achievement and meeting the high standards they set for themselves before I or the program apply any additional pressure. The second key indicator of success in a college program is someone who has faced adversity and prevailed anyway. College athletics are hard. The process of moving away from home, usually for the 1st time, is hard. If you’re facing real challenges for the 1st time in your life it is going to effect your performance negatively. Some people might simply call this “grit.”
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
Our 2015 team captain was pretty special. Ordinary athletically. Ordinary technically. Ordinary pedigree. She barely played her freshman year. But she was a high achiever- Elite ability to learn. Though she didn’t play her freshman year she continued to learn and develop. That continued through the off season and in her sophomore year she took over at CB and didn’t relent that position until she graduated. She was the starting centerback on the 3 most successful teams in the history of the program and she was ordinary in almost every aspect of the game except that she was never out of position and always organizing her team. 1 strong character trait and a patient coaching staff helped her become an all conference player though she began as a walk-on who couldn’t play.