Since its inception in 2005, the Shattuck-St. Mary’s Girls Soccer Center of Excellence (COE) has consistently demonstrated success in helping student-athletes achieve their ambitions to play collegiate soccer and beyond.
Though located in an area with short summers, the SSM Girls Soccer program has shown year after year that good outdoor playing conditions are not what makes a great athlete - it is a combination of high-level training and competing against top talent with challenging academics.
“If you mix a school with high academic standards and an excellent college-counseling department together with a top-level soccer facility, daily daytime training, and individual position-specific training, you are setting a program up for success,” stated SSM’s Director of Girls Soccer Tim Aga.
And this past 2019-20 season for Shattuck-St. Mary’s girls soccer alums showed how they were set up for success more than ever. In a recent report published by topdrawersoccer.com, Shattuck-St. Mary’s girls’ soccer program had the “most currently rostered NCAA Division I players” in the nation with 25 former Sabres playing at the top collegiate level. In fact, SSM had 26 women playing DI college soccer, putting the program eight players higher than the second listed high school.
“Our program sets similar expectations that colleges demand, but here our teachers, coaches, and trainers go above and beyond to guide these athletes,” said SSM’s assistant coach Vickey Vargas. “When you become a Sabre, we coach both the student and the athlete, taking a holistic approach to preparing these women for the next level. I think that’s what college coaches recognize and perhaps appreciate. When they commit to one of our players, they know that she is making an informed decision. She knows what it takes because she’s already lived it. So when she enters the higher level that the college game presents, she is ready.”
With seven of this year’s senior class committed to play in college, it is clear that the Girls Soccer COE won’t be slowing down any time soon in producing athletes for the next level. Aga, who will start his second year as director in the fall of 2020, already has high expectations for the coming season.
“We are going to intensify our individual training. All players now have a player portfolio containing their eight-week Personal Action Plan (PAP) that is linked to their preferred positions. By acknowledging their strengths and working weekly on their areas of improvement, we will then work on the fine details that are linked to their position on the field. It’s the fine details that will give them a window of opportunity to come to decision making on the field. The more time they will have for decision making the more likely the execution of their decision will be successful,” said Aga.