Hannah McCord plays for the SFEA 2000 & 2001 Girls NPL team and recently committed to the University of Portland where she will play Division I college soccer. Everyone at the San Francisco Elite Academy is proud of her accomplishments on and off the field, and we were delighted that she took the time for our brief pathway to college interview.
Please be on the lookout for additional conversations with the many players at SFEA who are moving on to college-level play next year.
When did you first begin playing soccer and when did you know it was something you would want to do in college?
I started playing soccer when I was about three-years-old. I have older siblings who play, so soccer has been a part of my life for pretty much my entire life.
How has the San Francisco Elite Academy shaped you into the player and student athlete you are today?
I’ve been a part of the club for a little over a year now. In that time my SFEA coaches have trained me to increase my soccer IQ, develop skills, and become mentally strong as a player.
Choosing a college is daunting and finding one to also play soccer can make it even more so. Please share a few thoughts on your college-selection/recruiting process and how you came to the conclusion your school was right for you?
When I was in eighth grade, I created a list of my top ten colleges. Over the past three years that list has changed as I lost schools’ interest and gained others. The school I decided on was on my original list and stayed on it until the end of my recruiting process. I knew the University of Portland was the right school for me because of its strong soccer culture, great coaching staff, and academic opportunities.
When did you begin working on your college recruiting and what did you do first?
I started the recruiting process in eighth grade. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to play D1. So I did research, created a top ten list, started training on my own, and began going to ID camps.
What key words of advice would you give fellow SFEA players who are just beginning the college recruiting (or finding a college soccer play opportunity) process?
I would advise players to try to find your top schools and then work hard to establish relationships with those coaches early on. Bug them with emails and calls until they know who you are. Calling a coach can be scary, especially if they have no clue who you are, but it is a great way to get their attention. Don’t get discouraged if a coach doesn’t come see you play. I emailed the University of Portland for a year before they came out to see me play.
Please share what you are most excited about when it comes to attending your college--from student life to academics/areas of study as well as college play?
I’m excited about the strong soccer culture the University of Portland has. They have an amazing soccer stadium that's known nationwide and one of the biggest fan bases. Almost the entire coaching staff played for University of Portland and they are very experienced, great people. I don’t know what I want to study in college yet but I’m looking forward to exploring Portland's wide variety of majors.
Is there anyone you would like to specifically thank for helping you on your journey from youth player to elite prospect to college-level soccer?
I’d like to thank my previous club (San Francisco United) who helped me develop through my youth years. I’d especially like to thank Jeff Wilson, who brought me into the club and was my first SFEA coach. Lastly, a big thanks to Pinder Nijjar who has coached me for the past three seasons and guided me through the recruitment process. I'm grateful for the support of my family, teammates, and coaches through this process.
The San Francisco Elite Academy is pleased to announced a partnership agreement with College Fit Finder to help SFEA’s college-bound players with the college soccer recruiting process. College Fit Finder provides players with a competitive advantage over the typical student-athlete navigating the recruiting process. It’s a comprehensive web-based tool that allows individuals to take ownership of their college-play interest and to help them possibly find a home at the college level.
As a club, SFEA is committed to both player development and helping our players fulfill their dreams of playing collegiate athletics and accessing higher education. College Fit Finder provides a consistent launching point to our club's support of its players in the recruiting process, and it will allow our coaching staff to take a more customized, personal approach in helping our athletes navigate the process from start to finish.
Over the course of the next several weeks, SFEA will be providing the College Fit Finder tool to EVERY one of its high school-aged players FREE OF CHARGE. This week, our 2001 and 2002 Girls teams will receive an email via their TeamSnap accounts with important College Fit Finer sign up and next steps' information. In conjunction with this new partnership, SFEA will hold a College Night Meeting for these 2001 and 2002 girls players (and parents) on Wednesday, March 6th at 6pm to review the College Fit Finder tool and answer any questions they may have. Again, details will be posted via TeamSnap.
The upcoming meeting will include both a representative from College Fit Finder as well as our new SFEA College Guidance Coach, Jeff Wilson. Having served as an academic and college counselor at the high school level for nearly 20 years, Jeff Wilson will now be leading our club as a college liaison to support our players’ interest, questions and journey toward possible college-level soccer play. Jeff’s experience and intimate knowledge on the process from both a student prospective and a college soccer coach should prove an invaluable asset to SFEA college-bound student athletes.
On behalf of the SFEA board and coaching staff, we look forward to working with our high school aged players to help facilitate recruiting and in finding a good college match for those seeking to play at the next level.
About College Fit Finder:
The College Fit Finder platform allows players to create a profile, add video, and search for colleges that fit their academic and athletic aspirations. It also provides and maintains a database of up-to-date academic and soccer program information. This platform represents an asset for those pursuing college soccer, and it also assists those players seeking colleges for specific academic interests. Players will have the opportunity to build a list of favorite schools and contact those coaches directly from the platform. The ability to search, create, share, and access information on colleges and their soccer programs with help all college-bound athletes in their individual path to higher education.
Tomorrow, Thursday February 7th, NorCal will be conducting the playoff draw for the finals of the 2018-2019 State Cup for U14-U19 Boys and Girls. The San Francisco Elite Academy has all of its 10 age-group teams (across genders) still in the competition, and eight of those teams (U19B, U17B, U16B, U19G, U17G, U16G, U15G, and U14G) will be playing in the final 32, the State Division, the highest division of State Cup play. Our U15B and U14B teams are in the Premier division or second group of 32 teams.
Congratulations to all of our teams on pushing into the elite bracket and good luck in the matches ahead!
The draw can be followed live on NorCal's Youtube page. And you cam read more about the draw on the NorCal website.
Congratulations to the following 10 of our 13 SFEA teams for making the round of 16 in Norcal State Cup!
2003 Girls NPL
2003 Girls Norcal
2004 Girls NPL
2006 Girls Norcal
2004 Boys Norcal
These teams will resume play on April 14th and 15th, and be fighting for a coveted spot in the final 8 teams of their age group and cup divisions.
The San Francisco Elite Academy congratulates all of our high school players on their respective seasons. Today, we'd like to offer a special shout of praise to the many girls in our program who have taken their soccer skills to their various schools and enjoyed a great winter playing with their classmates. And we'd also like to share that two schools, Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) and Lowell High School, both schools are still playing—in the CIF Northern California Regional Girls Championship—feature 19 girls who pay club soccer with the San Francisco Elite Academy.
Sacred Heart Cathedral won the CCS Div 2 championship with a 2-0 win over Terra Nova last Saturday, earning themselves the #2 seed in the Division III NorCal Regional Championships. In Round 1, SHC beat Campolindo 3-2 with Senior, Paivi Miller putting in yet another mercurial performance in midfield (1 goal, 1asst), and Freshman standout Maggie Altman continuing her great run of form up front (1 goal). On Thursday, March 8, #2 SHC will face #6 Cardinal Newman, 6:30pm at Kezar Stadium.
SFEA Players at SHC include Catriona Black, Paivi Miller, Miriam Streicker-Hirt, Allison Phillips, Alyssa Forsman, Sophie Rodil, Gabby Rodil, Simone Barragan-Shaw, and Maggie Altman.
Lowell started the season with two wins in five games, before going on 14 game winning streak en route to their 21st consecutive league title, earning themselves the #4 seed in the Division IV NorCal Regional Championships. In Round 1, Lowell were able to grind out a 1-0 against #5 Oakland Tech. Lowell’s young team will face their toughest test yet on Thursday, March 8 at 4:00pm, when the face #1 University Prep in Redding, where they are 10-1 this season.
SFEA Players at Lowell include Ellie James, Camilla Bodden, Lea Thauvin, Mariko Hokamura, Hannah McCord, Kalea Pappendrew, Shannon Li, Sarah Ginsburg, Natalia Potente and Siena Stueland.
Good luck to all these girls and their school teams as they chase their respective regional titles.
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.