Alyssa Synakowski, Sports Features Editor, @synakowsk
First published in print June 14, 2014
High school athletes dream of the next step in their athletic career: to play college athletics and possibly advance to the professional level afterwards.
The odds of earning a NCAA sports scholarship are miniscule; the likelihood of snagging this scholarship as a high school athlete is less than 2 percent. That’s nearly the same as one’s chance of dying in a motor-vehicle accident.
The possibility really is that dismal and unless you play a head-count sport, there is no such thing as a full-ride scholarship. There are only six sports that offer those: football, men and women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, volleyball, and tennis.
For these Division I sports, athletes receive either a full-ride or no-ride when playing the high-level college game that takes the same time commitment as a full-time job.
A recruit needs to be special to catch the eye of a university coach.
UVU Women’s Soccer head coach, Brent Anderson, is gearing up for the August 22 opening match against Portland State. In preparation, Anderson signed nine new recruits to this year’s squad; eight of which are true freshman and one junior transfer.
What is expected from a new signee on Anderson’s team?
There are the obvious requirements such as technical ability, tactile knowledge, and athleticism, but a team is much more than knowing how to read defenses or moving without the ball. A team is a family that can be filled with multiple types of personalities. Anderson tries to bring in every new recruit to meet the team in order to build chemistry. After all, it is the teammates that the newcomers will be with at the end of every day.
“We look for girls who are having a positive impact on the game. As our players commit to our team we have core values that we live by to help direct our decisions and how we act,” said Anderson. “We present those to all of the players as they are coming in and hopefully they are able to adopt those or modify those to help them in their lives.”
Expectations for the players on and off the field include hard work, commitment, dedication, and self-control. The recruits must be able to handle or adapt and learn to meet the challenges that come from playing at UVU, the youngest Division I women’s soccer program in the state.
Most of the athletes on the team all share similar pedigrees of success from high school and club teams. They all bring experience from high pressure situations. Right now, each incoming class gets the chance to build a program, a legacy that will be left associated with the university. The challenge of creating a legacy is enticing and appealing for any dedicated athlete.
Meet the athletes that beat the odds, the athletes that create the future of UVU women’s soccer: Kasandra Anderson, Sarah Cipperley, Sarah Davis, Breanna McCarter, Sydney Fitzpatrick, Tara Furlong, Amanda Marshall, Tori Smith, and Libby Weber.