One of the highlights of the 30TH ANNUAL lijsl Convention this weekend was the College Forum, which took place on Sunday afternoon. In front of an overflow crowd of players, coaches, and parents, Pat Grecco, Director of the league’s College Bound Program, led an all-star panel in an information session on the in’s and out’s of college admission, scholarships, and how to manage the college recruiting process.
Grecco, an LIJSL and Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Famer, calls herself “the original Soccer Mom,” and discussed the parent’s role in the college search. Stony Brook women’s coach Sue Ryan spoke about the reality of scholarships and how to be realistic about your abilities as a player and how to find the best program to fit your style of play. NYIT women’s coach Mike Caputo talked about NCAA Eligibility, USMMA men’s coach Mike Smolens explained the details of competing as a student-athlete at a military academy, former Nassau CC coach Ernesto Phan detailed the benefits of playing in Junior College, and St. Joseph’s women’s coach Joe Lee spoke about Divisions II and III and how they could play into the college search.
After that, a host of panelists that included Pat Horne (Concordia head coach and former professional player), Al Phan (Chaminade assistant coach and former player at Suffolk CC and Fordham), Joe Behan (NYU men), and Matt McElwee (LIJSL Select PDP coach and former collegiate player) spoke about the balance between academics and athletics at the collegiate level, what it’s like to compete at that level, and what coaches look for.