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 SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.