Troy junior Alison Holland (Memphis) and senior Jenn Busk (College of St. Rose) will be playing soccer in college at two of the best programs in their respective divisions.
In other words, it won’t be much different than it is now.
Busk inked with the College of St. Rose after a commitment near the beginning of last school year, joining fellow senior Irene Young (Louisville).
“I like the size,” Busk said. “It’s bigger than Troy High, but it’s not too huge.”
St. Rose is in Albany, N. Y. with an enrollment of 5,130. Busk is unsure what she wants to study, but she did like that the coach was focused on academics.
Busk got a pleasant surprise after she committed. She watched her future team go through the Division II Tournament, winning five games in a row en route to a national championship. It beat Grand Valley State for the championship.
“That was awesome,” Busk said. “It made me even more excited to go there.”
The success was nothing new to St. Rose, which outscored its opponents over the course of its 24-1-1 season by a score of 90-13.
Success is certainly nothing new to Holland’s college choice, either, as the junior has committed to one of the top programs in the country in Memphis.
The Tigers’ girls’ soccer website explodes with pictures of their three All-Americans. Holland will be in good company when she gets down there.
She also liked the Memphis coach, saying that he reminded her of her club coach on the Michigan Hawks. Memphis head coach Brooks Monaghan, as well as the assistant coach, was a goalie when he played soccer.
Memphis swept through Conference USA this season with a 21-0-1 record. But the Tigers’ season ended early in the second round when they lost to Louisville, Young’s future school.
Memphis was ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation before losing to Louisville. Memphis moves to the Big East for Holland’s freshman year, so she’ll face off with current teammate Young, goalie vs. forward.
Being one of the top players in the state, Young had several offers from all over the country. After considering Michigan State, Western Michigan, and Central Michigan, the forward settled on the Louisville Cardinals.
She said she felt a very good “vibe” there. Like other players, it was hard for her to put a finger on what it was about Louisville—it just felt like the right place for her.
Young really liked the athletic facilities—both in soccer and the brand-new KFC Yum! Center for Louisville’s basketball teams—and felt comfortable with coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes.
The broad spectrum of majors pleased Young also. She doesn’t know quite what she wants to study, but she said perhaps business or marketing.
Though it took some time for Troy’s other players to commit, junior forward Maddie Hirsch came away from her first visit to Eastern Michigan with one clear thought—I’m going here.
“I wanted to stay close to home, in Michigan,” Hirsch said, adding that she wanted to stay close to her parents, who are her “best friends.”
“They were my favorite coaches,” she added. “They were really nice and understanding.”
Coach Scott Hall told Hirsch he could see her playing anywhere, but Hirsch is most comfortable at forward or defense.
She said she also wanted to play with several close friends at Eastern, such as 2011 Troy graduate Emily Dzik and three players from Athens.
Dzik played in all 18 games with 17 starts, two goals, and one assist at defender last season.
Hirsch, too, may soon be playing against a current teammate. Junior midfielder Erin Wrubel is off to Ohio, so the two will be Mid-American Conference opponents when they graduate.
Wrubel wanted to go a fair distance from home, but she chose a MAC school so that her parents could come watch her play road games at Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan.
She also said that the campus was beautiful, built on a hill, and that she got along instantly with the other players.
“I felt wanted,” Wrubel said.
What’s interesting about the group’s college choices is that all of the schools’ coaches have spent their entire careers at their respective schools and have been there for at least 10 years.
So while the enrollments range from 5,000 to 23,000, the schools as far as 1,000 miles apart, and the conferences from the Northeast-10 to the Big East, all five will be doing what they know best—playing soccer.