I’ve been coaching Rebecca for the last year at GPS, but I knew her before she started playing with us here. She’s been a positive influence on the team since joining. Rebecca is hardworking, both on and off the field. She is always trying to give her maximum effort and has been one of our key players this season and I’m sure she has been in the past for her prior team. For us, she’s been a great addition because of how she fits in with the team and how she plays. Rebecca adds a lot to this team and we’re very happy to have her,” stated Katrin Kaarna, GPS NY Pre-ID & Bayern ID NY Program Director, and coach of Rebecca Rolland, who is this week’s featured athlete in the ongoing EDP College Commitment Series.
Rolland was named as a 2019 Girls Soccer All-Stars for the Finger Lakes and Monroe County leagues, Monroe County Division I First team and in 2018, and All-Greater Rochester Girls Soccer Second Team for her high school, Penfield High School in New York.
Rebecca was also named News 10’s NBC Scholar-Athlete of the Week in October 2019 for her academic and athletic performance as a student-athlete and National Honor Society member.
Rebecca has been playing soccer her entire life. She was first introduced to the sport by her parents and since then, has become something much more than just a game. She says, “I think I always loved soccer as a kid, it was something that I enjoyed doing. I looked forward to playing. Then once I got to middle school with school soccer and then moving to premier soccer, I started to realize maybe I’m good at this, maybe this is something I can pursue. I would love to do it in my future, it’s something I always thought about doing in my future. Then it became a real possibility in high school.”
Now a senior and awaiting graduation, Rolland explains what ultimately led to her commitment to Sienna, her future plans and what she hopes to accomplish.
She begins by saying, “I went to an ID combine camp and one of the Siena coaches was there. I really liked her and I enjoyed working with her, so I decided to go to one of the camps at Siena. I got to meet all the coaches and staff and tour the campus. I fell in love with the school and I loved the coach and I got to meet some of the girls on the team. Everything just seemed to fall into place. It felt like the right place for me. The coach wanted me. It fit academically as well. Everything just fell in line.”
Rolland continues, stating, “Academic wise, I’m hoping to get a degree in actuarial science and hopefully get a job as an Actuary somewhere. Then soccer wise, I want to improve and maybe there will be an opportunity for soccer in the future or maybe there won’t. I think if the opportunity presents itself I think I’d take, it would be amazing to play after college. To keep playing, to travel. It’s something I’d love to do. And if not, I’d probably play club for a little bit just because I can’t imagine not playing."
Rolland goes on, "Whatever happens, I hope I can continue playing soccer somehow. I want to continue to push myself and challenge myself. To get better and to grow. Sometimes you get to a point where you feel there’s nothing left to do, but I feel there’s always something to improve on or to work on. Whether it’s on the field, a skill or something you don’t do well, like shooting or passing. Even something off the field, like training or working by yourself. Then there’s the mental aspect to work on too. That’s something that I always try and work on. My mindset isn’t always perfect so I try to work on staying positive and having a positive outlook. That’s something I need to work on in the future, staying positive. Especially being at college, because things are going to be stressful. I need to keep a good mindset and stay positive about it.”
Before concluding our interview, Rebecca opened up with advice to other players in high school who are ready to embark on a similar journey as her, on the Pathway to College. She explains, “I would say, it all takes time and it takes hard work. It can be frustrating just going through the whole process and it can be stressful trying to communicate with all these coaches and go to all of these camps and do all of this stuff. Hard work is key, I know it’s cliche, but it can get very frustrating and stressful. You just have to know if you work hard for it, everything will turn out ok. At the end of the day, you just have to remember to be the hardest working player on the field and to enjoy what you’re doing, because if you don’t enjoy it then there’s really no point.”
Founded in 1999, Elite Development Program Soccer (EDP) is one of the largest organizers of youth soccer leagues and tournaments in the U.S. EDP operates youth leagues for boys and girls ages 9-19, conducts a Futures program for players ages 7-11, and operates U20/23 men’s and women’s leagues. EDP also runs over 20 tournaments each year. The key emphasis for EDP’s leagues and tournaments is its Pathway to College™ programming which enables soccer players to reach their full potential with an emphasis on attending college. More than 3,500 teams participate in EDP’s leagues and more than 170,000 players compete in EDP tournaments annually. For more information on EDP, visit www.edpsoccer.com.