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Interview with Alyssa Villareal , committed to MSU

1.Can you tell us a little bit about your recruiting process? How did you go about finding the right college for you?

My recruiting process seemed like it went by fairly fast. Even though they weren’t allowed to communicate with me before June 15th after my sophomore year, I had already emailed some coaches to get on their radar. As soon as coaches were able to start talking to me, I really began sending out emails for showcases and games, inviting them to come watch. Over the past year I did a ton of ID camps and tournaments which led me to talk to a lot of coaches from different schools. I was very fortunate to meet the coaches at MSU pretty early on in the process to where they could watch me play and watch me at their camps. From there it was really just a matter of setting up visits and talking about my future.

2.How did your time playing for Sting soccer club prepare you for playing at the college level?

While playing for Sting, I got to experience what it’s like to play at the next level. Going from playing on a club team that played in Arlington to Sting in Lewisville, the competition was way different. Each team we played against also had girls that wanted to play in college, which made the games much more competitive. I also got to experience true college soccer through playing scrimmages against Mcmurry, Cisco College, and ASU.

3.Can you describe how your coaches and teammates helped you in your journey to committing to college?

I definitely would not be where I am without my coaches. Each coach I’ve had playing for Sting has tremendously helped me to better my playing style by helping me see the game more clearly. Along with the coaches, my teammates are amazing and really allowed me to be able to create and develop different skills on the field.

4.Were there any specific skills or experiences you gained from playing for Sting that you found particularly valuable during your college recruiting process?

Before Sting, I had no idea how or what I should do to get recruited. They really helped me in that the coaches genuinely want to help you get recruited. They are great in making sure you have your emails sent for each tournament, they’ll talk to coaches for you, and even give you templates to help make the writing processes easier. Specifically the showcases we do helped me out the most. I had never experienced playing in them before and I think they are a valuable tool in getting noticed by recruiters.

5.How did your coaches and teammates help you stay motivated and focused throughout the recruiting process?

My coaches and teammates really pushed me to not give up throughout the recruiting process. While there were some schools that had no interest in me, there were more that did. My coaches and teammates drove me to try and perform my best each game and appreciate every opportunity I’ve been given.

6.Can you tell us about any challenges you faced during the recruiting process, and how Sting helped you overcome them?

One of the main challenges in the recruiting process was the school I was interested in not being interested in me, or only getting interest from places where I knew I didn’t want to move to. Sting helped with this by constantly providing more opportunities and making sure I considered all factors about each school. 

7.How did Sting’s emphasis on teamwork and community contribute to your success in the recruiting process?

One thing I love about playing for Sting is the team atmosphere. The coaches truly make it feel like a family. My team specifically has players from 3 different cities on it and everyone is friends with everyone. There has never been a moment of jealousy or hostility. I’m glad to say that every girl on the team genuinely wants the best for each other in anything we do.

8.What advice would you give to current players in Sting who aspire to play at the college level?

My main piece of advice is you have to put effort into it. College coaches aren’t going to know about you if you don’t put yourself out there. Emailing them and being on social media are great tools, as well as getting film put together. Playing in college is going to be tough, so getting recruited is not an easy task. Don’t get discouraged if there is a specific school that you like and they aren’t showing any sort of interest. Don’t let that stop you from continuing to reach out. There are plenty of schools that would love and value your talent, and one of them could be a perfect match.

9.How did your experiences with Sting help you grow as a player and a person, and prepare you for college and beyond?

Playing with Sting allowed me to experience what more competitive soccer looks like. It has helped me prepare for the physicalness of college competition and developed my tactical understanding of what college coaches are looking for. I’ve also learned to accept the struggles that come with the game, and understand that not every thing can always be perfect or go the way I want it to, which is a lesson that applies to the real world as well. 

10.What are your goals for your college soccer career, and how do you see your experiences with Sting helping you achieve them?

I am planning on attending Midwestern State in Wichita Falls to play soccer. My goals are to earn my minutes and to become a core player through my career there, while hopefully winning a championship or two. I’m super thankful that I got the opportunity to play with Sting as it provided me with the experience of actual college games, atmosphere, and competition.