Lauren Rodriguez, Forward, West Coast FC
Lauren Rodriguez had her pick between bitter cross-town rivals when she was deciding on where to play college ball.
“When making my decision to go to college, I looked at a few different schools including cross-town rival USC,” Rodriguez told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “UCLA was always my top choice however, and I’m really happy with the decision I made.”
The West Coast FC forward felt like the school in Westwood was the perfect place for her.
“I have always thought UCLA would be a great fit for me,” she said. “UCLA offers everything I want in a university: a great education, a successful soccer program, and it’s close to my family.”
Rodriguez was also a key member of Santa Margarita High School’s regional championship winning squad this spring. The forward picked up second team all league honors for her scholastic play.
“The recruiting process was difficult at times,” she added. “It was somewhat stressful, but exciting at the same time. Choosing where to go to college was a huge decision for me, and I am just glad that I will be fortunate enough to attend UCLA.”
Rodriguez is the eighth known recruit for the stacked 2013 UCLA class, which includes: Alyssa Alarab, Zoey Goralski, Darian Jenkins, Lauren Kaskie, Gabrielle Miranda, and Claire Winter.
Jennifer Boudreau, Defender, Solar Chelsea
Like many of her peers, Jennifer Boudreau sacrified a lot to play club soccer at Solar Chelsea, making a significant drive twice a week from Longview to Dallas.
But it all paid off, as Memphis gets a player who is hungry and prepared for the rigors of travel at the next level. Plenty of things appealed to her about the school.
“I chose Memphis because I wanted to play college soccer at a high level and play at a school where soccer has a big following,” she wrote TopDrawerSoccer.com in an email. “Memphis has won Conference USA for five straight years and has lots of soccer fans. I visited the campus with a broken foot (high school soccer injury) and had to do the tour on crutches – but I saw the whole thing and was impressed by the facilities and dorms.
“I liked the idea that the university is in the city and there is a lot to do. Memphis offers a wide variety of majors and that’s important because I haven’t picked a major yet.”
Coach Brooks Monaghan and the rest of the staff certainly helped sway the defender.
“The coaches were really friendly and upfront about what they liked about me and the skills I still need to work on,” she said. “I know they will push me to be an even better player.”
It was a long and thorough process for the forward from Empire United.
“Over the last couple of years I have been extremely focused on being a part of a Division I program that would challenge me both on and off the field,” Antetomaso wrote TopDrawerSoccer.com in an email. “I wanted to be on a team that would contend year after year for a national championship. My recruiting travels took me to many wonderful universities and I enjoyed every visit.
“On my visit to the University of Notre Dame everything just felt right. The campus was exceptionally beautiful, the athletic facilities were second to none, and the academic opportunities are there for me along with a coaching staff that really treated me with great respect as a student and as a soccer player.”
Also playing a role according to Antestomaso was head coach Randy Waldrum, not to mention the program’s history as well as the all-around lure of the sports in South Bend.
“The tradition of the University along with the success of the women’s soccer program under Coach Waldrum set it apart from the others in that it seems like everything is there for me as a student and a player. I liked the size of the university along with the opportunity for me to be a part of a student life that is extremely active in all phases of the university. The other sports that the university has will allow me to be a part of the student body as a loyal fan which I wanted to be a part of as well.”
And of course, with several strong recruits also heading to Notre Dame in the coming years, Antestomaso is hoping for big things on the field.
“There seems to be a buzz within the program that the players on the Team along with the recruiting classes coming in that Notre Dame can compete for a national championship year after year,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of that buzz and play along with other girls that have the same dream as I do of winning a national championship.”