For as long as she can remember, Alessandra Echauri has had a goal to play college soccer. The Christopher High senior realized a dream when she recently signed her letter of intent to play at University of the Redlands.
“Whether it was D-1, D-2, or D-3, I knew I wanted to follow through and play soccer beyond high school,” Echauri said. “I’ve always had the dream to continue my soccer career at the collegiate level.”
Echauri, who had a signing ceremony at Christopher High two weeks ago, expressed tremendous anticipation in the day leading up to the event.
“I can’t believe it’s happening,” she said. “It’s crazy and unbelievable. Ultimately, I’m happy all my hard work over the past years have paid off. It’s kind of exciting to look back where I was and what I wanted and now to see it’s accomplished. It was a very long, stressful process, and right now my shoulders are totally relieved.”
A center midfielder in high school but someone who has played every position in her career except goalkeeper, Echauri possesses speed and sees the field well. Echauri has a strong motor and work ethic, winning 50-50 balls and communicating with her teammates, whether it’s playing for Christopher or her club team. Redlands coach Suzette Soboti first noticed Echauri at a club tournament in Las Vegas two years ago. Even though Redlands showed interest, it took Echauri a while longer to reciprocate. The summer before her junior year, Echauri knew she had to be proactive in the recruiting process, and from there reached out to the Redlands before attending one of their soccer camps.
The Redlands offered a package last August, and after several exchanges Echauri decided to play for the Division III program located 65 miles east of Los Angeles. High school athletes who have a goal to play in college can learn lessons from Echauri, who contacted several college coaches first to get the recruiting process started. Like any prospective college freshmen, Echauri will enter school with a bit of trepidation.
“I’m scared just for college in general,” she said. “Scared to move on and be independent, but at the same time I have an independent soul and seek change.”
Although Echauri was proactive in the recruiting process, she credited her previous time playing for Santa Clara Sporting as key in getting her exposure to play in front of college coaches.
“They got to see me and it allowed them to see my ability to play on the field and how I worked with others,” she said.