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An attack-minded midfielder on her Texas Rush side, Grace Piper found the right combination of athletics and academics without leaving her home state.
“I decided to commit to A&M because of the high level of soccer I could pair with the rigorous academic opportunity there,” Piper told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “Being a consistently top 25 school was very attractive to me and the soccer program that coach G has created there is very prestigious and a great soccer environment. Also, wanting to be a veterinarian, it was important to me to find a school that could support what I wanted to do with my future and A&M has one of the best veterinary programs in the country.”
A left-footed player who looks to get shots on frame when she can, Piper said the atmosphere at A&M was one of many “amazing” things that drew her commitment.
“The coaches are fantastic and truly care about your development on and off the field, the players are all at a high level so everything is competitive, and the whole program was like a family and that was very important to me,” she explained. Also, Ellis field is one of the best surfaces I have seen at the collegiate level and the fan base is amazing in Aggieland. They truly care about their sports teams and show up in full force to cheer them on. It is a very difficult place for opposing teams to play.”
Not straying too far from home was also a plus, as Piper will be just an hour and a half from her home in Texas.
“I like the idea that I am far enough way from home to experience something new, but I am also close enough so that my parents and friends can come support me at my games,” she said. “I also love the campus because of how beautiful it is as well as how friendly everyone is there.”
During her college search, Hannah Adler, a native of California her entire life, looking to try some place new was on her list of criteria.
It eventually led her to the mountains of Colorado, and Denver University, where she recently committed to join the soccer program in 2016.
The decision was about more than just the change of scenery.
“The academics and the soccer of course is what really lured me in to be a Pioneer,” Adler told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “As a student-athlete, Denver’s reputation for high academic standards, combined with smaller class sizes is the right fit for me. I feel as a student/athlete, this is exactly the right combination for me to be academically successful, and successful on the field.”
One of many aspects of the soccer program that caught her eye was its recent success.
“The soccer program’s winning tradition was important to me and it’s very clear the coaching staff is dedicated to maintaining a positive team culture and an environment where its players can be successful,” she said. “I believe this has a lot to do with the coaches having had their own experiences at the highest levels of the game. I already feel connected to the coaching staff and feel they understand me as a player and I can’t wait to learn from them and grow.”
Adler was also impressed by the team’s chemistry and its style of play. She’s eager to get the chance to live at the foot of the Rockies as well.
“Besides the great academics and amazing soccer program, the campus is beautiful and I find the location of the school is perfect,” she said. “It is 30 minutes from the Rocky Mountains, and less than 5 minutes from the beautiful city of Denver. There is so much to do there, it’s nearly impossible to ever get bored.”
Forward Elisabeth Geraghty (Colorado Storm) committed to Colorado for the class of 2017.
Defender Gianna Vega (Miarmar Optimist) committed to Ave Maria for the class of 2014.