Only 2.1% of high school girl soccer players go on to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I soccer in college. Senior Sydnie Fong is committed to play D1 soccer on a scholarship at the University of San Diego (USD) next year. She has been playing soccer for 11 years, four of which have been on the Varsity team. Fong plays outside back for Santa Rosa Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) and has been with her team for five years.
“I’ve put a lot of effort into it; it takes up most of my time. It’s basically the majority of what I do,” Fong said.
Fong puts in about 12 hours of soccer a week; she practices in Santa Rosa, which could take up to an hour to get there, and up to an hour back. Along with two hour practices, Fong doesn’t have much time for homework or extracurriculars left in her schedule. Fong still maintains a 4.1 GPA.
“I’ve had to become really good at time management,” Fong said.
Ryan Berbarian currently teaches Fong in AP Literature and Photojournalism, he thinks that Fong is a committed student.
“She’s an involved student, her work ethic is strong,”Berbarian said.
Fong ultimately chose USD for its education, soccer program, and location. “I love the beach and I really like the coaches,” Fong said.
The Covid outbreak separated her and her team for over a year, Fong used the time to motivate herself and improve her play.
“It helped me become a better player because it gave me more time to focus and work hard,” said Fong.
Senior Megan Postel is a teammate of Fong and this is their second year playing together on Varsity. Postel views Fong as a considerate leader for the team. “She’s super responsible, kind, and caring. She makes an effort to get to know you as a person, not just a player,” said Postel.
Postel views Fong as a supportive influence. “She’s a role model on the team, and she makes you want to play better,” said Postel.
This is Fong’s fourth and final year playing Varsity soccer at SM, and her second year as Varsity captain. As high school soccer season is now in full swing, she has two goals for the season: to score, and to beat their rival Novato.
Along with the SM team, saying goodbye to her club team will be challenging.
“It’ll be hard to leave my current soccer team. We’ve been playing together for so long and they’re some of my best friends,” said Fong.
On the other hand, college will bring new opportunities and she is looking forward to it.
“I’m really excited to play at the collegiate level, go to college, and play at USD,” said Fong.