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College Corner

A Proven Pathway

STA is committed to doing all we can to support our players and parents as they navigate the complexities of the College Recruitment process. Our track record is exemplary and is testament to the investment our staff display throughout the recruitment cycles.

With our full-time staffing model, the relationships our Directors and staff have built with schools within the industry means we are finely placed to regularly communicate with coaches and will monitor and guide the progress of our players through every step of their process.

Couple this with the visibility and exposure to some of the Nation’s top schools that our players and teams receive through their participation in the country’s most competitive College Showcase events, alongside our provision of 1 x College Fit Finder account for each High School player within our club and we believe we are a great option for any player seeking to play in the NCAA.

In-house, each year we also commit to hosting a 1 day College ID day for 50 of our Male and Female players where we are visited by dozens of schools from every level from around the Northeast. Schools have included Rutgers, Villanova, NJIT, FDU, Saint Peters, Binghamton, Bucknell, Marist, Wesleyan, Gettysburg, Muhlenburg, Stevens, Stevenson, Montclair State and Rowan.

We also are generously visited by a number of the region’s top coaches who provide an insight in to the College Pathway/Recruitment process as part of a panel Q & A session for our players and parents while our Coaching Directors also host additional education nights surrounding the application process.

Schools that have supported us have included: Rutgers, Indiana, NJIT, FDU, Rowan University, Drew University and DeSales and we thank them for their time.

STA Alumni

Alex Reigle

STA Grad Yr | 2023

University of Richmond,
D1 Atlantic 10

Alexa DeBarros

STA Grad Yr | 2023

University of South Florida,
D1 - American

Alyssa Alfano

STA Grad Yr | 2023

TCNJ,
D3 - NJAC

Brianna Azevedo

STA Grad Yr | 2023

Rutgers University,
D1 - Big Ten

Cassidy Clinton

STA Grad Yr | 2023

Fairfield University,
D1 - MAAC

Chiara Cosenza

STA Grad Yr | 2023

Navy,
D1 - Patriot League

Gabriel Ruitenberg

STA Grad Yr | 2023

William & Mary,
D1 - CAA

Jillian Rosenfeld

STA Grad Yr | 2023

University of Rhode Island,
D1 Atlantic 10

Kyla Holmes

STA Grad Yr | 2023

Yale,
D1 - IVY League

Lauren McCauley

STA Grad Yr | 2023

Elon University,
D1 - CAA

Layla Flores

STA Grad Yr | 2023

St. Francis University,
D1 - Northeast

Luca Tusche

STA Grad Yr | 2023

Babson College,
D3 - NEWMAC

Sascha Fleesler

STA Grad Yr | 2023

Wellesley College,
D3 - Liberty League

Sonja Zeepvat

STA Grad Yr | 2023

University of New Hampshire,
D1 - AEC

Zach Feldman

STA Grad Yr | 2023

Wesleyan University CT,
D3 - NESCAC

Zoe Rogan

STA Grad Yr | 2023

St. Lawrence University,
D3 - Liberty League

Aidan Grant

STA Grad Yr | 2022

Bucknell University,
D1 - Patriot League

Andrew Tremante

STA Grad Yr | 2022

Amherst College,
D3 - NESCAC

Aoi Kataoka

STA Grad Yr | 2022

George Washington University,
D1 Atlantic 10

Armando Santana

STA Grad Yr | 2022

Rowan University,
D3 - NJAC

Ava Oseback

STA Grad Yr | 2022

Colby College,
D3 - NESCAC

Avery Gallucci

STA Grad Yr | 2022

University of Chicago,
D3 - UAA

Brian Babovic

STA Grad Yr | 2022

Stevens Institute of Technology,
D3 MAC Freedom

Bryan Gaviria

STA Grad Yr | 2022

Widener University,
D3 - MACC

Charles Giordano

STA Grad Yr | 2022

University of Delaware,
D1 - CAA

Charles Herley

STA Grad Yr | 2022

Loyola Maryland,
D1 - Patriot League

David Schuster

STA Grad Yr | 2022

University of Chicago,
D3 - UAA

Eddy Zazzali

STA Grad Yr | 2022

WPI,
D3 - NEWMAC

Emma Rosenberg

STA Grad Yr | 2022

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
D3 - Liberty League

Ethan Harris

STA Grad Yr | 2022

Colgate University,
D1 - Patriot League

Yearly Action Plan

As you review the information there are four things to keep in mind:

  1. The process is very similar to looking for a job.
  2. The process operates on two parallel tracks: soccer and academic.
  3. Approach the process with a team mentality: player, parents, coach and school guidance counselor. Everyone has certain responsibilities, but, the player, your child needs to lead the team.
  4. A positive attitude and persistence will go a long way during your child’s journey to play collegiate soccer.

When to Get started?

To understand when to get started, you need to work backwards. Coaches build their annual recruiting process around the official signing date, February 1st (of your Senior year).

With the above in mind, it is recommended that your child begin the process during the;
BOYS – fall of their sophomore year of high school.
GIRLS – spring of their freshman year of high school.

The process starts earlier for female players because schools (DI especially) look to get verbal commitments and their future classes locked in a few years in advance.

Note: NCAA regulations permit coaches to respond to prospective student-athlete inquiries, but the coaches cannot initiate contact until [September 1 of your child’s Junior year.]

You never get a second chance to make a first impression! Make an effort to make a good impression on your teachers as you begin a new phase in your life.

Realize that your grades from this year matter! Colleges will see the grades you receive in ALL four years of high school. Start off strong! Get involved in extracurricular activities in and outside of school.

Checklist
  • Begin to discuss and research colleges with your parents. Identify 20/30 potential colleges for your list.
  • Sit down with a school counselor and create an academic graduation plan.
  • Find a local organization to volunteer.
  • Work on your academic potential - maintain your GPA and class rank.
  • Go watch college games at all levels, and if possible take campus tours.
  • Create a player resume and cover letter.
  • When selecting classes for sophomore year, select the most challenging classes you will be able to succeed in. You want to take as many honors and AP classes as possible while maintaining a high GPA.
  • Summer before sophomore year – visit some local colleges or colleges near locations you will be on vacation. Do this to get some sense of what a college campus is like.

Sophomore year can be a challenging one. Remain focused, stay on track academically and keep up your grades.

Checklist
  • Take the PSAT’s in fall.
  • Attend the STA College Night.
  • Meet with the STA College Director.
  • Learn the basic recruiting regulations, so you know what to expect from coaches and how and when you can communicate with them.
  • Update your list, you will have made some changes and the list will be down to 12/20 schools.
  • Update your resume and then begin sending them out to as many coaches as you can, especially before any showcase events you are attending or before you attend one of their camps.
  • Attend college camps for schools that you are interested in. You may want to attend 2/3 camps this summer.

This is an important year for your academic record. Make it count!!

Checklist
  • Take PSAT’s for National Merit scholar potential.
  • Continue to stay active in extracurricular activities.
  • Take SAT’s and ACT’s - as early as January, no later than March for the first time.
  • Register with NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Keep your STA coach updated as to your status
  • You should have an idea of which schools are interested in you and so have a better idea of where to narrow your focus. By the end of the school year, you should try to have 6/10 schools identified that you are seriously considering.
  • Update your resume and cover letter and send to any schools that you are interested in.
  • Before each event where you could be scouted by college coaches, re-send your information along with your competition schedule, including times and locations you can be seen competing.
  • Plan college visits.

Don’t let down in your class work. Finish strong.  It is important you stay focused, organized, and manage your time so that your hard work will pay off.

Checklist
  • Take the SAT/ ACT again.
  • Submit all applications by deadlines – know your school’s deadline!
  • Check status with the NCAA Eligibility Center and have your transcript sent at conclusion of senior year.
  • Complete FAFSA form with recent tax information. March is the deadline, but do it as early as possible – After January 1.
  • Schedule and complete official visits. Meet with the coach and the team and stay overnight if possible, see the team play.
  • Stay in touch with your STA coach, copying them on all communication with college coaches. Stay in touch with your high school guidance counselor.
  • Keep college coaches updated on your achievements by sending them your updated info through the fall and play in high level tournaments in the late fall and spring.
  • Update your resume and cover letter.
  • Contact college coaches before any event where you could get scouted.
  • In your senior year you are eligible to go on Official Visits, where a college will pay for your visit. Try to plan these visits during the fall so you can be there on a game day and before Athletic Scholarships are awarded. Gather as much information as you can on each college.
  • At the beginning of your senior year you should be able to narrow your college search down to 2-5 schools.
  • Verify your eligibility status with the NCAA and NAIA.
  • Follow up with college coaches so that you know where you stand.

The College Process

​The players needs to make a list of around 20 schools (e.g 10 academically and 10 athletically) and this list should have some schools that are unrealistic, realistic and easily achievable. When making this list you need to also think about what kind/type of school you want to attend;

Location
Area
Climate
Size
Type
Culture
Cost
Academic Offering
Soccer program/coach
Soccer team needs/playing time potential

Do your research. Take your time. Go and visit different types of schools to figure out what you like.
Coaches expect players to have done their research on both the school and the soccer program. Coaches do not want to be in discussions with a player only to find out, for example, that the school doesn’t offer what the player wants to study.

Once you and your child have developed a list of schools, your child needs to set-up a time to meet with your coach, DOC or the STA College Director. At the meeting the player and staff will review the list of schools and discuss appropriate division of play for the player. The coach’s role at this point is to help guide your child to realistically achieve their goal to play soccer in college. The college coaches count on the club coaches to be realistic about the division where a player can have the biggest impact for a team be it DI, DII or DIII. 

The next step is to develop an email to introduce yourself to the college coaches from your list. For more information on emailing college coaches go back and click on the templates & docs tab.
In this email you can include a soccer resume and your upcoming game and showcase tournament schedule.

The most important things to remember are; it must come from the player not the parent, be personal and specific to the school (be careful when copy and pasting), and make sure your details (email, team, jersey number and graduation year) are correct and included.

Once the letter, resume and team schedule has been sent, now what...

The majority of surveyed coaches encourage follow-up while some indicated if they are interested, they will follow-up. Due to NCAA rules this may be through your club coach or by inviting you to a ID clinic of camp. Your follow up email should be before and after every showcase tournament you compete in. This is to remind them, ask if they are attending and to send them your game schedule for that tournament. Then, after the tournament, email them to see if they came or to thank them for coming. Give them a little recap of your highlights/successes.

It is helpful to understand that some schools will receive hundreds of emails a week. Patience and persistence is key.

The majority of schools host camps and clinics throughout the year. The camps serve a couple of purposes for the schools and their soccer programs: source of income for the program, recruiting and awareness building for the school. 

Attending the camps of the schools your child has on their list is not mandatory, but it can be very helpful. For your child, it gives them an opportunity to experience the school and to interact with the coaching staff. For the coaches, it is an opportunity to better assess a player’s skills, attitude and team fit. According to the coaches surveyed, many actually recruit players who they saw at camp.

Something else to keep in mind about attending a camp is that coaches from other schools often work at the camp for their own recruiting purposes. So, your child is exposed to multiple opportunities.  And if your child attends a camp(s), they need to make sure that at some point during camp, they introduce themselves to the coaches. During registration/arrival and departure, coaches are inundated by parents trying to make an impression on behalf of their child but it is the player that the coaches will remember.

An unofficial visit is any visit to a school that is paid for by the player or parents. There are no limitations on when you can visit or how many visits can be made. The only expense a school may offer to pay is for three complimentary tickets to a school’s sporting event.

There are more regulations pertaining to an official visit. Briefly, an official visit occurs at the invitation of a coach and is paid for by the school. Please go to the NCAA website for the specifics on unofficial and official visits.

A helpful tip for official visits to DI schools:

  • keep multiple copies of the player’s high school transcript
  • have SAT and/or ACT scores handy
  • register with NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly known as NCAA Clearinghouse)

The player will be asked to provide the coaches with transcripts and test scores as well as confirm registration with the Eligibility Center.

During a visit, how can the player best represent themselves

  • “When the recruit speaks more than the parents do”
  • “Eye contact”
  • “When they come prepared with questions and have clearly put some thought into this very important decision”
  • “If the player is educated on your school or not”
  • “Can talk to you and not parents, how easy is he to talk to and how he treats his parents”
  • “The players character, manners and maturity.”
  • “Ability to communicate and ask questions, mainly.”
  • “I am impressed by kids rather than their parents asking the questions”
  • “When they can represent themselves in a well-spoken and confident manner, rather than have their parents do all the talking for them and when they have a good idea of what they are looking for in a college, academically, socially and geographically.”

Players need to be mindful that coaches will be watching – you never know when and they see more than a player might think.

Coaches were asked besides skills, what are they looking for when they watch a player;

  • “Work ethic, attitude and coachability are also attributes that we look for.”
  • “Speed, athleticism, ability to deal with conditions, poor refereeing, yelling coaches, etc.” 
  • “Clues that give us an idea of what type of person they are.”

Templates & Documents

College Coaches have strict restrictions about who and when they can make initial contact with players, therefore, you should be introducing yourself to coaches from colleges you are interested in attending. NCAA coaches cannot initiate conversations before a player’s junior year in High School, but they can respond if you contact them first.

Email is a great way to introduce yourself and allows more people to know who you are. Your email should let the coach know that you have researched their program, have the potential to be a college athlete, and give them a schedule of where they can watch you.

Coaches are looking for emails to include the following:
Player’s name
Name of club team
Name of high school
GPA
Graduation date
Projected major
Upcoming schedule (tournaments, academy games, etc.)
Coach references with contact information
Resume (separate document)

  • Have a Professional Email Address - Make it simple by including your name and graduation class. Not soccerballer123@aol.com.
  • Subject Line - The subject needs to catch their attention and make them want to open it. Include your name, position, and graduating class.
  • Personalize each email - A coach will delete a generic email without reading the email as they receive a lot of these emails every day. If you cannot take time to personalize your email, they won't make time for you. Changing the name of the school and coach does not count as a personalized email - you must show you have researched the school and the team. Easy tip – Use “Dear Coach Jones” versus “Dear Coach.”
  • Include Contact Information for your Current Coaches - This will allow your STA or High School coach to act as a player reference for you. Also, they will be able to let your coach know that they are interested in you as a player and when a good time for you to contact them is.
  • Upcoming Playing Schedule - Let the coach know where you will be competing so that they can watch you in person. Coaches will attend tournaments and showcases with a pre-determined list of players that they will be watching so make sure your name is on these lists so that they can come and watch you.
  • Research - You should know if they currently have players on your roster from your hometown or club, how many upperclassmen are there in your position, their division and league, and their previous record.
  • Spell Check - Everything should be spelled correctly and use the correct grammar. Make sure you spell the coaches name correctly.
  • Follow Up - Coaches are very busy, be respectful of their time and numerous emails they will receive. Follow up with a phone call or email. You should email them before and after each showcase event and college ID camp.

The resume should include:

  • Personal information – name, height, weight, birth date, state, town, school, soccer team
  • Contact information – address, email, phone (home and mobile)
  • Academic – GPA, class rank, PSAT or SAT/ACT scores, clubs, community service, awards/honors
  • Athletics – soccer info for STA (include uniform colors, jersey number, position, coach’s name and contact information, DOC’s name and contact information), high school, ODP (if applicable), awards
  • Other sports experience
  • References – include name, phone (home and mobile), email, mailing address

Note: Photos are not necessary and you want to make sure that the resume can be easily emailed.