- February 1, 2019
Playing a sport in college is the dream for many high-school student-athletes, and an event last week helped make that dream a potential reality for girls on the soccer field across the state.
High-school girls playing soccer had the chance to make an impression and show off their skills at the
The two-day event put on by Winter Park High School included the Wildcats and teams from 11 other schools competing against each other in front of college coaches. High schools at the event included Winter Park, Bishop Moore, Timber Creek, Lake Highland Prep, Hagerty, Seabreeze, Seminole, Lakeland Christian, Leon, Boone, Harmony and McKeel Academy.
Coaches from at least 22 colleges, including University of Central Florida, Rollins College, South Georgia State College, University of North Florida and Andrew College, were present to evaluate the athletes.
Among the Bishop Moore Hornets at the showcase was sophomore Rachel Hatton, who was excited for an opportunity to impress and be seen.
“We play a lot more different teams,” Hatton said. “Normally we’re stuck with the same teams every year, and it’s good to branch out. There’s a lot of opportunities. I know last night there were a bunch of college coaches standing around, so it’s a little pressure, but it’s a good pressure.”
Several Bishop Moore girls already have committed to playing at the next level, including five of the team’s seven seniors.
Bishop Moore girls soccer head coach Amy Geltz said she was excited to see that number potentially grow with the help of the Winter Park High School event.
“It’s a great showcase,” she said. “All of these teams from all over the area have come in, even from Tallahassee to Lakeland to here around town. It’s just a good way for all these girls to be seen.”
An Elite Clubs National League showcase also took place during the same week, which gave the younger players a chance to stand out and show their skills at Winter Park, Geltz said.
“It’s gratifying — especially for the ones that might not be starters right then and there — to be able to step up and play their best out here when others are not here,” she said.
This marked the third year for the Winter Park High School Girls Soccer Showcase — a gathering of high school talent that was put together by Winter Park girls soccer head coach Jimmy Angeles. It originally started with about six or eight teams before growing up to 12 this year. It provides a unique opportunity, because most showcases are only through club teams, Winter Park girls soccer assistant coach Troy Dennis said.
“(Angeles) wanted to have a format for high-school players to get college exposure,” Dennis said. “We have many high-school players (who) play club soccer. That’s a very common thing in Winter Park and common at Bishop Moore, and there is a lot of opportunities for strictly club players to play in front of college coaches. That opportunity doesn’t always expand to girls that purely play high-school ball. This gives an opportunity for both our club players and girls that just play high school to get that exposure.”
Winter Park Wildcats have gone on to play college soccer because of the showcase. Among them is Huntingdon College sophomore Camryn Hale, who turned some heads the first year of the event.
Other Wildcats on the current roster have committed to colleges as well, including senior Ellie Moreno (University of Central Florida), senior Ansley Frazier (University of Massachusetts), senior Alex Granville (University of Texas at San Antonio) and junior Karina Groff (University of Massachusetts).
Some players in the showcase, such as Winter Park seniors Lindsey Dolle and Sarah Dennis, don’t plan on playing soccer in college, and the event is just another way to create special memories alongside teammates.
“This team’s just had a big impact on our high-school life in general, because you get to meet people through high-school soccer,” Dolle said.