2023 soccer GK junior year stress

So i started a thread here following my 2023 soccer GK daughter on her summer of camps and tours. Just wanted to see where other 2023s are in the process, how they are handling the stress if they have not committed, and commiserate with other parents on how brutal this process can be.

We are now into the fall season (she plays club year round and it is HS season in Ohio so she is playing with our clubs u19 HS alternative team), she took the ACT once, will take the SAT in December, and the first two 2023s at her club have committed - field player to UCLA and the #1 GK to University of Virginia.

My daughter is a shorter (5’6) GK and is getting anxious with the various 2023 commits and the large number of uncommitted 2022s but we are staying the course. One school she went to camp and toured this summer offered her a walk on spot but said there would be no money her freshman year due to COVID 5th years, and just two weeks ago her #1 where she toured, went to camp, and had ongoing calls/texts with the GK coach told her that she was not in there top group so they were moving on from her. She was very upset but doubled down and stepped up communication with other schools. She did an unofficial visit at a local D3 (only in state school she is considering) that went very well and is now just trying to reestablish texts/phone calls since soccer is in season right now. her pool has expanded to close to 50 schools mostly D1 and high academic D3 and she is anxiously awaiting camps info and getting coaches to a game.

Recruiting is a difficult process, even when not in a pandemic.

It sounds like your D is doing all the right things…casting a wide net, and staying in touch with coaches. You are right that there are many 2022s still not commited, and all of them aren’t going to find spots.

Is your D open to any level/any size school? What is the budget? Do you need athletic scholarship $? Will you qualify for need based aid?

I would have your D focus on what she can control…getting good grades, training hard, playing well, getting her film and name in front of coaches. She can’t control how quickly the coaches are moving, which GKs at which schools are going to take their 5th year, where/when teammates are committing, etc.

Lastly, I would encourage her to create a list of schools that she would like to attend, should soccer not work out.

Good luck and keep us updated.


we have discussed price and that we can handle around 20,000 without amassing additional loan debt. for many private schools we will qualify for need based aid (single mom, public school teacher) and we have been doing net price calculators. She is open to all levels but most D2 and NAIA schools don’t meet her academic/social/location lists.

She knows what she can and can’t control and has a great support team at her HS keeping her on track academically and with a plan for SAT/ACT, and with her club and private trainers and she is well aware that she can’t fall in love with a school if playing soccer is a goal because so many things have to align.

D3 schools she has interest in and has talked with coaches from - skidmore, kenyon, haverford, colby, tufts

D1 schools are more all over - Loyola Chicago/Marymount/Maryland, George Washington, American, High Point, UNC Charlotte, Seattle U, Drexel, St. Johns, St. Joseph’s, St. Bonaventure, Denver, DePaul, are all ones she has emailed with but those are just off the top of my head.

She spends a few hours a week creating highlight clips, researching schools, emailing, and updating coaches and watching NCAA games.

That all makes sense, she is doing everything she can.

You said that you have run NPCs…are the meet full need schools that you list above (all the D3s) affordable?

None of the DI schools you listed meet full need…so if things progress, you would be looking for a mix of athletic, merit, and/or need based aid. It’s very possible the max athletic scholarship at these schools will be 1/2 tuition, which is great, yet won’t get you to $20K net price alone. This is just something you will have to address when your D receives an offer.

we have run net price calculators at all the schools that have them. some of the jesuit schools have jesuit specific scholarships that DD would qualify for since she coming from a jesuit HS, additionally some of the schools have merit packages listed on their sites or with DD guidance counselor so we have an idea of what she would qualify for. I told DD that I didn’t care what the price of the was but it needs to get down to 20K so at a school that is 29,000 she needs to get 9,000 and the schools that are 60+ she needs to get 40K. She has talked about stacking money at some of the schools and most of the private schools we qualify for much more aid then the public schools.

I don’t want to overcomplicate things but It’s important to understand what each school offers in terms of financial aid…for example, D3 schools offer no athletic scholarships. Colby and Haverford offer only need based aid, so if their NPCs are unaffordable, you will have to take them off the list.

Many of the private schools will also require financial info from bio dad if alive and in the picture…what is the situation there? If alive and in the picture, when running the NPCs at a CSS Profile school you would have to estimate his income/assets to get an accurate result.


@Mwfan1921 and others know the soccer landscape very well so I think you’ll get great advice on that. I’ll just add a more generic recruiting comment: there is only so much a recruit can do to cast the net and contact coaches. It’s all stressful even for the best athletes. For those who aren’t getting the responses they want, from the schools they want, as fast as they want, I think it’s helpful to shore up the non-recruiting path. What would that look like, what schools are involved, what would life be like, etc. Visit a few of those options. Get a sense of matches, reaches, finances without athletics. Knowing that athletic recruiting is one path, but that the other path could look pretty good, can be comforting during the most stressful times.


the NPC at all the D3s listed came out affordable. No issues with bio dad - will be submitting a waiver request and have supporting documents so without to many details it shouldn’t be a factor.

Without soccer DD says she would ikely select a Jesuit school that is already on her list and has already stated that she doesn’t want to go to just any school in order to play but at this point can’t see not playing at some level. My gut says if D1 doesn’t happen by next fall she will likely go to one of the D3s to play rather then one of the D1s and not play.

hopefully things pick up some traction once the NCAA season ends and coaches get back on the recruiting trail

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Has she gotten feedback from her club or high school coaches that D1 is the right level for her? I think 5’6" is “kind of” short - but not insurmountably so if she has great stats. Not being physically a standout coupled with covid is a big deal. From what we have seen teams are really backed up, more so than people thought they would be I think. Or maybe more than people had hoped they would be.

I’ve seen feedback that D1 schools have pretty much narrowed down their 2023 class. So if she isn’t on that list I’d say it’s time for D3.

she watches the GKs on the schools on her list and is aware of their height and size. she has had discussions with both her club coaches and her GK trainer and they think she should still consider D1 at this point. She hasn’t given any one division more attention then any other and is open to finding the right fit regardless of division. She got feedback from one school that she didn’t make their final group of 2023 GKs but other coaches have said that they are still looking at 2023s and are still open and early in the process for 2023s. Hopefully things take a more solid shape after fall/winter ID camps and showcases.


Another point to consider is that money is tight this year in many D1 programs. A couple we have heard from have one full ride only (this is a covid holdover). The D3 advantage is that it sounds like you would get a good amount of aid and the top D3s are still in good shape financially - as in their financial aid is fully funded. If the coaches are talking to her I think it’s totally reasonable for her to ask about the money issue. “how many full and half scholarships do you have for the 2023 class.”

I think she is selling the D2 schools short. There are many in NC, SC and Florida that are in the same academic category as the D1 schools you listed like Rollins and Tampa. If she’s interested in engineering or science, there is Colo School of Mines. Jesuit schools? Regis in Denver or Wheeling Jesuit. Assumption is not Jesuit but close to Holy Cross where she could take classes. Schools in NY? LeMoyne, NYIT, Pace.

My daughter was looking in all divisions. We had to balance her ‘wants’ with her biggest need - money! We really found the sweet spot at a D2 school because she got the athletic scholarship as well as a big merit scholarship, and then some financial aid from state and federal programs (at the time, she couldn’t get need based aid with an athletic scholarship, but that is allowed now). She needed it all. She wasn’t as interested in D3 schools because as she looked at schools it became clear she wanted engineering (really didn’t know that before she started looking). The D1 school where she could have contributed to the lax team were either really small (Presbyterian) or not interesting to her (Stetson) and ranked near the bottom of all D1 schools athletically. One of the biggest benefits to going D2 was that she was a top player and got to play 100% of the time. Her friends who went to BC, Jacksonville, ASU, and other D1 schools? Very little playing time.

I know it is hard to see all her friends and teammates starting to commit and feeling like everything is moving sooo fast, but there is still lots of time. There really are kids who are still looking as seniors. Sounds like your daughter has a good schedule and a good management system for organizing the schools and team. It will work out but look for the good things at schools like playing time, nice dorms, a good travel schedule, money, sunshine, academic programs.


I will say this. 16 year old kids think they know what they want, and they probably do. On the other hand, the real question is where would they be happy and have an expansive college experience. Often, the kids would be happy and blossom at any number of schools that may not meet the first “list.” That’s why it is important to have a very long list of potential schools. If she is recruited by one that she doesn’t care for, by all means politely decline. Yes, the more schools that you work with, the more work it is for you. On the other hand it usually means more opportunities.

Recruiting for goalkeepers is a bit different than field players. For goalkeepers, you are going to need to find fit. There may be a terrific school that checks all the boxes but that has a fabulous 5’11" keeper they are recruiting this year that is not on the roster now but that will play for the next four years. I do believe that there are schools out there that have the need for your D. You just need to go out and find them, and they might be under a rock outside of your D’s list.

Keep at it and keep strong. We did it several times, and repetition didn’t make it any easier. The pieces will fall into place if you keep working hard at it.

And not to mention that you can’t always predict years 2-4. A new goalkeeper might come in and take your top spot or there might be a coaching change. You have to be at a place where the rest of the college experience still has appeal without the sport being so great.


I hear you. The last big push for my D23.
We have Florida, Texas, Arizona, and NJ showcases.
Plus, one more if you make the playoffs in June.
Full league games. We got some serious traveling to do this year.
I agree that after Florida, things will start to solidify for D1 and
top D3.

You might have to talk your D off the ledge like mine when she
found out girls she knew went first wave D1. Twitter, instagram,
Tik-Tok, Facebook. I really hate you.

I had to remind her that 4 girls she knew from the league
got hurt and pretty much their soccer recruitment is done.
If that happened to you, would you be happy that this school?
A mixture of real life events that she can verify and abstraction
of not playing soccer at place she does not like. Hard for kids
to understand consequences without smack in the face proof.

Good luck. It is going to be brutal for 2023. Maybe a bit less
than the 2022. I think some teams made a mistake keeping
the grad students and current players and not recruiting properly.
Played it too safe and they got punished in their league.

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I heard a top coach comment on this in 2020, saying he’d made promises to recruits, both moneywise and for playing time, that some freshmen and sophomores had expectations of moving up in the roster, getting more playing time, so he’d have to consider all that when deciding if 5th year seniors would come back. Yeah right. When the rules were announced and there were even more grad students (and superstars) available, he not only let his seniors play for another year but recruited grad students who had played 4 years at another school but still had a year of eligibility left. HUGE teams last year and this coming year. The NCAA let some teams honor scholarships and exceed the cap. Duke had a special fund for scholarships to allow all athletes with eligibility left to return. And who wouldn’t want to play the 23 year old grad student with 4+ years of experience over the 18 year old freshman?


Well, something I learn after experiencing 12+ different coaches with my D over the years, never listen what the coaches say, believe what they do. Bad behavior does not escape scrutiny and is only amplified under the watchful eyes of parents and players. Huge teams? No minutes? Other choices.

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not even quite sure why i’m reading this thread except that my D23 has a gk soccer friend; but i think you are so right about the superseniors getting so much play time; and i think that will have a trickle down effect. We are College VBall fans (especially BIG TEN) and I think Wisconsin has like 5 super-seniors playing this year. they are wise and strong and tough. I’m guessing it will take a few years to get back to normal with playtime for the others.

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checking back in, nothing to exciting to share - fall season is done here in northeast ohio. DD 2023 played fall ball with her club (really good training, most games were really lopsided but DD got some time out on the field in addition to GK) and ran XC with her HS.

Regular league soccer began this week. lots of emails from coaches this week asking for showcase and league schedules, now that the ncaa season is winding down. Did an ID camp last Friday at a top choice school that went well although weather was horrible. Fall highlight film is completed and posted and DD continues to expand her list - now including some D2s - stonehill, st. micheals, bently, assumption, seattle pacific. schools are really being honest regarding if they are looking for a 20233 GK and if she fits based on her video and we are grateful for the honesty and have removed a few schools based on communication.

the #1 2023 GK at her club committed a few weeks ago but she trains with a handful of 2022s that are still looking so she isn’t too worried, but the stress has amped and now that emails are coming in, more time is being spent responding. Q1 grades were solid, still working part time and training 4 days a week plus games on weekend and now has to secure volunteering opportunities to get to the school required junior service hours - not sure how she does it but she is managing and still has her site set on playing in college…


It is a really stressful process for all the athletes, and can be stressful for years! There is so much uncertainty. People who only see the outcome – admission to a school as a recruit – have very little idea just how hard the process is.