Exclusive Interview with Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year

For the July 2015, we had the opportunity to work with Brianna Pugh to get an exclusive interview with her sister, 2014-15 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year and 2016 UCLA top recruit, Mallory Pugh. We got an inside look at her career to date, decision to go to college instead of play in Europe, the overall recruiting process and more. Below is that interview. Check out the latest issue of Amplified Soccer Training magazine.

By: Brianna Pugh, Mallory’s sister and Former Oregon Duck

The recruiting process is certainly an intimidating process that players go through. What college is the right one for me? How will I know? All these questions and more consume players from the beginning to the end of the recruiting process. Players can feel pressure from parents, coaches, and fellow teammates to commit, but it is important to know that it is your future. We spoke with 2016 top recruit, Mallory Pugh, to ask her what her recruiting process was like and why she decided to commit to UCLA.

Q: When did the recruiting process start for you?

It started freshman year of high school for me. I was pretty nervous when it started, but excited at the same time.

Q: What colleges were you most interested in and why?

I was most interested in UNC, Stanford, and UCLA. I was interested in UNC because of their soccer legacy. It’s every players dream to play there. I was interested in Stanford because of the location, legacy, and academics. But for UCLA everything was appealing to me. The one deciding factor for why I chose UCLA was because I really saw myself there.

Q: What aspects were most important to you in your college search?

The style of soccer. The coaches. Academics. Location.

Q: What are some questions you would recommend other players ask when they are being recruited that you asked yourself?

What are you workouts outside of soccer like? What are the best majors to study? What are the coaches like? What are the dorms like?

Q: There was a point during your recruiting process where you had considered to go professional in Europe. Why did you choose college over professional?

I heard a lot about college soccer and how much bigger it is from club. I also just decided that I wasn’t ready for that big professional jump. In the end I really wanted to experience college.

Q: How would you describe your overall recruiting process?

I tried not to put stress on myself during the whole process because I was already feeling pressure from other people. It was more fun than anything, really. Even though I knew people’s opinions of me and what they thought I should do, I had to make the right decision for me and no one else. I also knew that in the end I would be supported no matter what.