College Recruiting

How She Landed a Division I Soccer Scholarship with only Game Video

Without many opportunities for college coaches to see Katie play, Coach Richards turned to soccer game film.

by Tim Bennett

A veteran of the college and youth soccer ranks. 24 years at the Division I level as a player, assistant coach, associate head coach, and Head Coach in such conferences as the Big 12, SEC, PAC 12 and the Big East. Served as an ECNL staff coach, US Soccer Development Academy Director and an Executive Director at the club level.

In her Sophomore year, Katie Houck committed to playing soccer in college at a Power 5 school. She was pumped. Everything about this school was right. Katie spent the rest of her youth career playing with the confidence that she was going to be a D1 soccer player. Until halfway through her senior year when Katie learned about a coaching change at her committed college. She also hadn’t received her letter of intent.

Katie played as a center back for St. Louis Scott Gallagher (SLSG MO) ECNL. Her coach, Ralph Richards, knew Katie was D1 material. Katie was nervous about the coaching change but was still hopeful that she’d get to play for the school she’d been working so hard for the last two years. At the end of November of her senior year, Katie still hadn’t received her letter of intent, and through her recent communications with the new coaching staff, things that were originally promised seemed to be vanishing.

Because of NCAA rules, Katie wasn’t allowed to receive emails from the college coach. Her original offer wasn’t on paper, just through in-person correspondents. What this school was now offering wouldn’t cut it, Katie and her family decided to put the offer to the side and scramble to find a new home. 

Luckily for Katie, Coach Richards started making moves once he heard about the coaching change. He put in a couple of calls, but Coach Richards was concerned as most of these coaches from other colleges hadn’t watched her play for the past two years (she was committed and off the table). There weren’t many more opportunities left for coaches to get out and see Katie. So Coach Richards turned to game film. He started putting together all the film they had on Trace, but they needed more recent game footage. Ralph told his 01/02 G team that filming with Trace was more crucial than ever; they needed it for Katie.

Getting Recruited for College Soccer

Katie played in two phenomenal games in December against MTA and Michigan Hawks. Both teams have fantastic forwards committed to top Division I programs. Katie and her teammate shined in both games. Once Coach Richards knew they had fresh game film, he started sending it off to coaches. The coach of the Dayton Flyer’s took to Katie’s game film. Dayton’s coach loved being able to see a collection of all her moments while also being able to jump into the full game film. Being able to see more than highlights allowed the college coach to get a sense of all the aspects of Katie’s play that Coach Richards had promised.

Come early January, Katie committed to join the Dayton Flyers. She’s now once again a D1 soccer player. Coach Richards is thankful they were able to deliver more than clipped highlights. The game film needed to show Katie’s wide range of skills and spotlight her as a player. Being able to watch all her moments across these games gave Dayton that opportunity

Katie signing her NLI from Dayton on January 29th, 2020

“Katie is a composed, confident and reliable defender.  She will help on both sides of the ball, her ability in possession to help us build our attack is first class, and she can be a defender that can shut down our opponents.  Katie has a strong understanding of positioning and spacing, and will be a good leader for us in the backline.”

Head Coach of Dayton, Eric Golz
Katie (far left) with the the Class of 2020 from St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club

  • Get tracing today
Wondering how Trace might fit into your game plan? Take a look at our membership packages.