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From the Trenches

January 2008

Sara's Story

Posted by saraallent Jan 25, 2008

University of Richmond ‘07 - Women’s Lacrosse

I chose to play lacrosse in college because I knew there would be more opportunities for me. It's much more difficult to get noticed playing soccer, my other sport, because of its popularity. I made the decision to focus on lacrosse my freshman year of high school, which meant I would continue to play soccer for my high school but no longer play for my club team.

 

In my freshman year I was completely unaware of the opportunities in store for me. I went from hoping to be considered by D-III schools to being courted by some of the best D-I schools in the country.  After attending numerous camps and tournaments, filling out tons of questionnaires, sending countless emails and talking on the phone with several programs, I finally had it narrowed down to five potential schools. 

 

The NCAA allows high school seniors to go on five official visits.  Each visit allows the student-athlete to spend 48 hours on school property, all-expenses paid.  I accepted visits to James Madison University, University of Richmond, Loyola College, Vanderbilt University and Georgetown University.  I ended up deciding Georgetown University was not the school for me due to its location and canceled the visit, but followed through with the four others during my fall semester senior year of high school.

 

The first trip I went on was to Vanderbilt, so I boarded a plane with my parents and headed to Nashville. Vanderbilt is a fantastic school and I had a wonderful time, but realized while I was there that it was just too far away from home. Next, I went to Loyola which I also really enjoyed. It was a smaller school and closer to where I grew up in Pennsylvania.  My third visit was to James Madison, where I was pretty sure I was going to commit and later sign. As it turns out, I changed my mind and the coaches were very surprised when I decided it wasn’t the right fit for me. 

 

At this point I was so tired of the process and traveling that I was tempted to cancel my Richmond visit.  I just wanted to decide between Loyola and James Madison, but my Mom wouldn’t let me. So I headed south to Richmond for one last visit. As it turns out, I really liked the school, players and coaching staff.  The head coach, Sue Murphy, was new to Richmond and was the United States Developmental team coach. She had just built the Boston University program and came to Richmond to do the same, which was one of the selling points to me. I left Richmond even more confused than before.

 

I was given one week to decide my fate for the next four years of my life.  I declined offers to Vanderbilt and James Madison, but was going back and forth between Loyola and Richmond.  In the end, I decided on Richmond; it was a great fit and I really enjoyed my time there.

 

The recruiting experience can be very overwhelming, but sometimes you just have to take a step back and think about what program fits you the best.  If you trust your instincts, you can’t go wrong.

 

My Advice:

 

After going through the recruiting process, being a player and spending a year as a coach I have several pieces of advice I would like to share.

 

- Coaches are always watching to learn more about you, which means on and off the field. Be on your best behavior at all times. 

- Put time and energy into the process. If coaches don’t come to you – go to them. 

- Do your research. Look into lots of schools and then narrow them down as you go.

- Be honest with coaches and demand the same honesty from them in return.

- Choose a school that you will enjoy even if you aren’t playing a sport.  You never know what could happen.  It’s important to pick a school, not just an athletic program.

 

Good luck!

 

Sara

 

 

 

 

 

For more information check out the Active Recruiting 101 special section.

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