Thursday, February 03, 2000
Girls soccer players reap scholarships
BY DAVE SCHUTTE
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Girls soccer stole the limelight from football in the annual college recruiting battle for Cincinnati's best high school athletes.
Thirty-two girls soccer players signed national letters of intent on Wednesday, the first day of the winter signing period. During the early signing period in November, another 12 girls soccer players committed.
When I first started coaching 20 years ago, most girls played because they loved the sport, Turpin girls soccer coach Dave Lawson said.
Today, the girls are more intense and play year-round. They're afraid to take off a season to run track or play softball for the high school for fear of falling behind and losing a (soccer) scholarship.
Five McAuley girls soccer players signed with major colleges, as did three from Lakota West's Division I state championship team.
It's taken a few years, but colleges are finally realizing that Cincinnati soccer is among the best played in the country, Lawson said.
Although McAuley co-coach Shawn Murphy was elated that five of her players had signed, she doesn't like what's happening with the girls at a younger age.
Unfortunately, the parents are pushing the girls, knowing it's a way to fund a college education, Murphy said. The girls are dedicated to only one sport and play year-round, which isn't necessarily good.
Lakota West coach Tara Schafer would like the NCAA to ban contact with the players during the high school season.
They (players) are confused enough and some coaches put pressure on them to make decisions by a certain date. Let them enjoy the season and then deal with the recruiting later.
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