college

Want to play soccer in college?

You are a Blackhawk, so it’s obvious that you love playing soccer. If you want to play soccer in college, this is your first priority: do well in high school. You need to be academically sound to receive serious consideration by college soccer programs. The same skills you develop as a student athlete in high school will serve you well as a college student athlete. As you keep your eye on the academic prize, there are things Blackhawks can do to support your aspirations to play soccer at the college level.

How will Blackhawks help you reach your goals?

Blackhawks players begin their soccer careers by developing a love of the game in Little Hawks (ages 5–8) and developmental soccer programs (ages 9–10). For the competitive player, Blackhawks offers a multi-year program beginning with MYSA or TCSL play and attendance at traveling tournaments at U11, continuing to Midwest Regional League play beginning at U14 and an opportunity for international play in Sweden and Denmark at U15. This broad base of experience, together with the year round training that the club provides, culminates at U16–U18 with attendance at college showcase tournaments.

What can you do to reach your goals?

Step 1: Strive to be the best you can be both athletically and academically
It can’t be said enough! Think about your personal goals, but keep your options open. A lot can change as you approach your college years.

Step 2: Do your research
Learn about the schools that are a good academic and cultural fit for you and the schools with soccer programs that are a competitive fit for you, and find the overlap. Remember that there are different levels of play in college (varsity, club, intramural) that offer a wide range of competition, athletic demands and time commitment. You may be aspiring to play in college and beyond, but if that is not your goal, you don’t need to be an NCAA Division I (D-I) varsity athlete to continue to play soccer in college. Look at all the options and carefully consider your genuine aspirations.

“Above all, make sure the school is a good fit for you as a person. If your plans change, you don’t make the team, or you are injured, you want to be at a school that feels right for you.”
—Every college coach ever

Step 3: Learn about the recruiting process and rules
The Blackhawks sponsor a college recruiting seminar annually where you can get more information about NCAA college recruiting. The process is similar for boys and girls. Since the timelines and landscape differ significantly, we host separate sessions targeted to girls and boys.

The NCAA publishes a comprehensive booklet, NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student Athlete. That publication includes checklists to guide for decisions entering ninth grade and up. (Yes, ninth grade. D-I/D-II eligibility depends on high school core curriculum.)

“As a college-bound student-athlete, you are responsible for your eligibility – that means planning ahead, taking high school classes seriously and protecting your amateur status.”
—NCAA

The NAIA, an athletic association organizing college and university-level athletic programs among smaller institutions, has the similar NAIA Guide for College-Bound Student Athletes detailing eligibility, rules and more.

Three junior colleges in the metro area are affiliated with NJCAA, and have active men’s and women’s soccer programs.

Step 4: Reach out to colleges
Once you have narrowed down your list of schools of interest, try to visit the schools and/or contact coaches to express your interest in their program. Most schools have recruiting forms on their website that should be filled out by the athlete, in addition to communicating with the coach. Your Blackhawks coach and team manager will have more information for you about communicating with college coaches. You should also give serious consideration to attending summer training camps offered by the colleges or the coaches, or where a coaches from your schools of interest may participate. This process starts by sophomore year, and may start sooner if you are aiming to play at a D-I school.

“As a head coach, I want the student athlete to make the first contact. It’s great for parents to be involved in the process, but I need to hear first from the student.”
—Jeremy Iwaszkowiec, Bethel University

When contacting coaches, their first question will likely be, “What are your grades?” There is a trend toward rostering first-year players in the Early Decision or Early Action time frame—by early December of 12th grade. That means your grades must be in great shape by 11th grade.

Step 5: Speak to other Blackhawks who have played in college
Contact Club Director Viktor Adamscek (viktor@blackhawksoccer.org) for more information and a list of contacts.

Colleges where Blackhawks have played soccer:

Augsburg College, MN
Barry University, FL
Beloit College, WI
Bemidji State University, MN
Boston College, MA
Brown University, RI
California State University
Carlton College, MN
Centenary College of Louisiana
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, CA
Colgate University, NY
College of St. Benedict, MN
College of St Scholastica, MN
Concordia College, Moorhead, MN
Concordia University, St. Paul, MN
Cornell University, NY
Creighton University, NE
Dartmouth College, NH
DePaul University, IL
Georgia Southern University
Grinnell College, IA
Gustavus Adolphus College, MN
Illinois Institute of Technology
Iowa State University
Kalamazoo College, MI
Lafayette College, PA
Lake Forest College, IL
Lehigh University, PA
Luther College, IA
Macalester College, MN
Marquette University, WI
Middlebury College, VT
Northern Illinois University
Northwestern University, IL
Oakland University, MI
Oberlin College, OH
Occidental College, CA
Ohio Wesleyan University
Pomona College, CA
Purdue University, IN
Santa Clara University, CA
Southwestern Minnesota University
St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona
St. Cloud State University, MN
St. Olaf College, MN
Trinity University, TX
Troy University, AL
Tufts University, MA
United States Air Force Academy, CO
University of Central Florida
University of Chicago, IL
University of Connecticut
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Minnesota, Bemidji
University of Minnesota, Crookston
University of Minnesota, Duluth
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
University of Missouri-Kansas City
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of Saint Thomas, MN
University of Southern California
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin, River Falls
Washington University, MO
Wesleyan University, CT
Western Illinois University
Wheaton College, IL
Yale University, CT