Kara Hines: Benedictine, Soccer
Senior Kara Hines had a quick and easy commitment process. The day after her visit to Benedictine in Atchison, the head coach gave Hines an offer for a place at the school her freshman year and two weeks to make a decision.
“I was looking at a couple of different schools, but I chose Benedictine because I loved the atmosphere and all of the people there were really welcoming,” Hines said. “Everyone goes out and supports girls soccer – which was really cool.”
Kara had emailed several coaches to watch her play toward the end of her sophomore year, but coaches also recruited her without her direct involvement.
“My coach the next year actually recruited me and sought me out,” Hines said.
During the first part of her visit, Hines attended her first Benedictine soccer game, a game that reiterated the school’s love for sports and support for players.
“The team did great,” Hines said. “It was really competitive and fun to watch. The bleachers were packed with students and people had to start standing because there wasn’t enough room for them. They’re very supportive of their women’s soccer team and they treat them like superstars.”
After, Hines toured the school and dorms. She met with the coaching staff, who expressed a strong interest for her. The coach asked her about club and high school soccer, talked about the game, and explained how she would fit into their program the next year.
“I absolutely loved the coach, he was really welcoming and had an amazing personality and he made me feel like I was a part of the team already,” Hines said.
Benedictine is currently a NAIA Divison school, but may move up to Division 2. The two center backs for Benedictine are seniors, which happens to be the position Hines plays. Hines hopes to start her freshman year. Benedictine is known for a strong program and winning seasons, but Hines shoots to accomplish something beyond that.
“I hope we can win a NAIA division championship–or if we get moved into DII win a championship there – because they do have a really good program and they do have a winning record almost every year,” Hines said.
Aside from soccer, Hines will work hard academically and aim to get into the pre-med program after her first four years. While the academic side of the school played into Hines’ decision, the sports-oriented atmosphere of Benedictine is what closed the deal for Hines.
“The academics were definitely a part of it, but I think it was mainly the atmosphere around sports.”
Addison Steiner: Northwestern, Soccer
Junior Addison Steiner was late in the commitment process. Many of her teammates committed to a college months before she had.
“Usually in girls’ soccer people commit really early, so I guess I was kinda late in the process,” Steiner said. “Most of my teammates committed when they were sophomores.”
However, about a month ago Steiner verbally committed to Northwestern University to play girls’ soccer. Even as a junior, Steiner felt the pressure of making a commitment coming. She had been looking into DI schools such as Memphis, KU, Nebraska, Minnesota and Texas A&M, but did not have an inclination toward any.
While at regionals with her club team, KCFC, Steiner’s coach told her that Northwestern had expressed a strong interest in her playing at their school after her high school graduation. Steiner found that Northwestern’s academics would override the other schools’ opportunities to play soccer in the long run.
“Immediately I dropped all the other schools since Northwestern is really good academically and I know I won’t be going pro in soccer,” Steiner said.
Steiner went on her first visit to Northwestern in early August and found that she was their top recruit. After the visit Steiner was sure she would end up at Northwestern.
“They really wanted me and they offered me a scholarship,” Steiner said. “Two weeks later I called them and told them I wanted to go there.”
Apart of the academics and offer to plays soccer, Steiner fell in love with the campus.
“The field is literally right next to Lake Michigan,” Steiner said. “You could kick a ball into the lake. You can also see the skyline of Chicago, and it’s just a really pretty campus.”
On her visit, she met the coaching staff which consisted of two women coaches, one of whom had attended Harvard.
“They are just really nice and personal and laid back,” Steiner said.
Playing at Northwestern means that Steiner will be playing with some of the best teams in the nation. The team is in The Big 10 and will play against other big-name teams such as Stanford, who is the top ranked team in the nation.
Steiner hopes to fit in well with her team. The team is smaller and quicker, as opposed to other DI teams who are bigger and stronger.
“They fit to my playing style more,” Steiner said. “We aren’t a top team or a bad team, it’s an average school and I know I will get a lot more playing time than other schools.”
Connor Schrock: K-State, Golf
Q. Why K-State?
“I chose K-State because they recruited me since the beginning of the process, and I really like the coach. They also have great facilities. As a recruit, you want to feel like the program really wants you, and I felt that way with K-State.”
Elliot Faerber: Illinois, Football
Q. What was the main reason for going to Illinois? What was the commitment process?
“Because [Illinois] had a rising program and the reached out to me — I didn’t have to go to them. They also have great academics. Coach Sherman and I over spring break last year called Coach Zook, the head coach, and told him I’d love to play for them.”
***Elliot Faerber de-commited from Illinois in January of 2012, just days before signing day. He is currently looking into several other Big 10 and Big 12 schools.
Henry Simpson: K-State, Golf
Q. Why did you commit early?
“I committed early because, truthfully, I wanted to get it all out of the way and be able to enjoy my last year. No filling out applications, not having to wait on anyone to get back to me on whether or not I get in. It just feels great to have it all out of the way – and I can concentrate on golf and academics without feeling like I have a lot of pressure.”
Mimi Fotopolous: Tennessee, Tennis
Q. What was a closer for choosing Tennessee?
“I am excited to be apart of the prestigious Lady Vol family. I was able to meet the winningest college basketball coach, Pat Summit of the women’s basketball team. It was really inspiring to get to watch her hard at work at practice.”
Alex Dressman: William Jewell, Soccer
Q. Why did you decide on William Jewell?
“It was a smaller school, and they were DII and I wanted to play at a school that was DII or higher, so I’m really excited I’m able to play at that kind of level. It has a strong Christian Community so I’m excited to get hooked into that. I know some of the girls going there. One of my club teammates is going there so I will get to room with her.”
Caroline Nick: Emporia, Basketball
Q. Why did you choose Emporia? For athletics or academics?
“I loved the school and the program, it wasn’t too big but it wasn’t too small. The school offered the majors I was interested in. Emporia also has one of the best DII women’s basketball programs in the nation including a National Championship in 2010.”