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What does it take to play D1?

soccer1520soccer1520 Registered User Posts: 43 New Member
edited January 2012 in Athletic Recruits
I'm a sophomore in high school and my dream is to play college soccer(womens). What does it take to play D1? I know I'm not national team material but I think I can work really hard to improve my game. Im also trying out for the Chicago Fire youth team which is real good! So what are some other factors coaches look at for potenial D1 players. And I'm not talking soccer legend schools like UNC, Virginia, Stanford, Notre Dame, Penn State ect.

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Post edited by soccer1520 on

Replies to: What does it take to play D1?

  • moonman676moonman676 Registered User Posts: 938 Member
    Regardless what the program is, DI soccer and varsity soccer in general is a HUGE commitment. Even DIII soccer takes a lot of time and effort, but in the end if you love the sport and love being on a team, it's worth doing. Also, sports can be a really good avenue for getting into a college, as being a recruit can only help your application.

    But I would say getting onto a DI program takes a few things. 1. Commitment and hard work. 2. Skill and/or tactical awareness (coaches love to see that you have a head for the game as much of practice is spent on tactics) 3. connections. The third one is huge. If you play club soccer, make sure they have good connections with college coaches. I have no doubt that Chicago Fire would have great connections, but the fact is that your club coach is easily the MOST EFFECTIVE tool for getting college coaches to want to see you. I know this from experience. I changed clubs as a senior to a much more renowned club with well-known coaches and have gotten looks from DI and DIII coaches (although DIII might be where I end up). So hopefully you get on that CF team and if not just find another good club and keep working hard!
  • soccer1520soccer1520 Registered User Posts: 43 New Member
    Thanks so much!

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  • momof2010momof2010 Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    The university near where I live is by no means a soccer power house in women's soccer, they are D1 and part of the Big West conference. The local talent rarely even get a look from the coach. There is one local player on the team and she was a real standout in high school and this last season was her senior year in college. She got some minutes but never really made much of an impact on her team. The girls are VERY VERY good. I am female and played college soccer at that same university back in the day when it was club and we had no funding from the school, we were good back then but by no means could we hold a candle to the talent that comes thru there now. You probably need to be one of the very best players in your area to even get a look from a D1 program. I have no idea how good you are but let me say this, I would encourage you to look to a college where you know you can play. If you truly love the game then you will not be happy sitting on a bench somewhere. There are tons of good colleges out there, with many playing opportunities.. It is far better to find a good fit in the long run. Best of luck to you. :)
  • soccer1520soccer1520 Registered User Posts: 43 New Member
    I wanna take a guess, are you talking about the University of Portland?? B/c they play in the big west and they becoming a power house....espically will two alumni playing on the national team (megan rapinoe and stephany cox).....yeah I know my soccer lol...but its just a guess haha

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  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Registered User Posts: 11,788 Senior Member
    There is a lot of good info in this sub forum. Try searching. Somewhere is a thread about what is happening in high school each year, for girls likely to get recruited. It happens early for the girls. Here's something;


  • njfootballmomnjfootballmom Registered User Posts: 520 Member
    Also talk to your high school coach. They should be able to guide you. If soccer recruiting is like football, then the D1 prospects have been identified by the end of soph year and the coaches have them in mind. You do have to be one of the best, if not THE best on your team. You know whether this is you or not...You might have to aim lower than D1, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Unless you are amazing the colleges won't know about you so you will have to reach out to them. At our HS the D3 and D2 coaches made the rounds in Jan and Feb meeting potential D3 football players. I imagine soccer has similar schedule. I don't remember if or when the D1 came. Talk to your coach. Don't assume someone else told him/her you are serious about college play.
  • coasecoase Registered User Posts: 651 Member
    I agree with those who suggest talking to your club coach and your high school coach right now. At the risk of giving false hope, I must say that you do not need to be one of the best in your area or the best on your team to be recruited at the D1 level. In our greater metropolitan area, three teams will be sending 12-15 players to D1 schools this year. Those teams are ranked in the top 25 nationally, but other teams that are ranked outside the top 100 are still sending several players to D1 schools. Even the #5 team in our state will be sending over half a dozen players to D1. Here is a listing of commitments sorted by college and club: https://sites.google.com/site/soccerrecruits/ In our experience, this list is very accurate as to where players matriculate.

    As for the timeline, the top teams such as Stanford get commitments in the spring of sophomore year. But remember that there are hundreds of D1 programs, and many are still recruiting in the spring of junior year. And, as others have noted, DIII is an option to consider. The time commitment is smaller and the level of play is lower, but many players turn down D1 money to play DIII.
  • schoolhouseschoolhouse Registered User Posts: 267 Junior Member
    Coaches should have a wealth of information about this process, but many times the coaches are just as limited as some of the parents who have never been through this exercise. Also, coaches have their own agendas especially in (football & basketball in the midwest), fencing in NJ for sure, so their knowledge is limited to their experiences with their best prospect, other coaches hearsay and their desire to move to the next level so beware.
  • coasecoase Registered User Posts: 651 Member
    schoolhouse makes a good point. Coaches do have their own agendas. They may prefer one college over another or one conference over another for reasons that are of no consequence to the player. At the same time, a coach may have an in with certain colleges. The extreme case arises when the club coach is also a college coach. For example, a coach at a local university has brought in a player from his club team each of the last two years.
  • evertonnutevertonnut Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    soccer1520, you're about to embark on a journey that will require you to do several things:

    1. Reach out to coaches at schools that interest you;

    2. Develop a thick skin for rejection;

    3. Develop a lot of patience for ambiguity in coaches' responses
    and uncertainty regarding whether they like you or not;

    4. Never, ever sell yourself short.

    Remember that coaches sometimes blow hot and cold for no apparent reason. A lot of players are recruited then dropped. A lot of players end up at a school that expressed little interest initially. Having had two kids go through the process for D1 soccer, my best advice is to keep communicating with coaches and keep a lot of doors open and, most importantly, don't undersell yourself. You never know when your break may come.
  • UrsaMajoricUrsaMajoric Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    SC1520, you don't say what kind of colleges you want to go to. Since I'm guessing that you're not US National Team material, my humble advice is to pick the colleges you're interested in for academic reasons and use the soccer as a tie breaker. Just saying "I want to play D1" may not be in your best interest, unless you think you'll be able to get a scholarship -- something that will not be available in a D3 school. (Then again, D3 schools often have more need-based scholarship money - so your family's personal financial situation may be a big issues.) Sitting on the bench at a D1 school will still require you to put in all the workouts that the stars have to go through; you may get a better education at a D3 school and won't have to put in so much time.

    With my nagging aside, it's great that you're thinking ahead now. A good place to start at this point is Recruiting Realities, as they're a good site for kids planning ahead. They're not a recruiting service, so they won't try to sell you on themselves to be your 'agent', unlike most services. (Their business is to lecture at high schools.) They recommend starting your contacts with schools early, and to look outside your local area if you're willing to go away from home, as many schools like the look of being able to say that they can recruit and draw in students and athletes from throughout the country.
  • soccer1520soccer1520 Registered User Posts: 43 New Member
    Thanks for all the input and advice guys! My dream school is Marquette and to play soccer there will be a passion of mine. I have other schools in mind along with D3 schools. Again thanks for the help!

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  • momof2010momof2010 Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    Soccer1520 sorry I just saw you had asked awhile back if it was University of Portland and no, it is a california school.. sorry for the delayed response..
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