Allison Miller played youth soccer on an FC Milwaukee team coached by Christian Lavers that went on a remarkable run of national achievement over 3 years, including qualifying for 2 USYS Region II Midwest Championship Finals, and for both the Disney Showcase –Showcase Division Finals and the San Diego Surf Cup Finals. Ally is now in her senior season at Marquette University, and to date has started 67 of 70 games in her college career.
Note: The FC Wisconsin Eclipse “Player Profiles” are a series of interviews with former youth players that have gone on to play college soccer, and who have been through the training philosophies and curriculum of FC Wisconsin Eclipse. Their perspective and insight, looking back on their youth career, provides a unique and insightful perspective on youth soccer – on what it takes to develop into anelite player, and what they gained most from their youth careers.
Allison Miller played youth soccer on an FC Milwaukee team coached by Christian Lavers that went on a remarkable run of national achievement over 3 years. During the team’s U16 – U18 seasons, the team proved itself as consistently one of the top 10 teams in the country by winning the USYS Midwest Regional League once and finishing second once, qualifying for 2 USYS Region II Midwest Championship Finals (where they dropped both heartbreaking games in overtime), and qualifying for both the Disney Showcase –Showcase Division Finals and the San Diego Surf Cup Finals (losing in overtime again). Ally played as a center midfielder, where she dominated in the air (offensively and defensively), provided a tremendous physical presence, and was a great possession player. In high school, she played club soccer year round (except for her freshman and sophomore year). Ally has also played in the WPSL each season of her college career, helping lead the 2010 WPSL team to the Final Four.
Ally is now in her senior season at Marquette University, and to date has started 67 of 70 games in her college career. Her senior season started with both great expectations (she was named Pre-Season Big East Defensive Player of the Year), as well as great performance (she has already been the Big East Defensive Player of the Week twice - August 20 and September 3). Her first three college seasons also featured multiple honors:
In her 3 years at Marquette, Ally has helped lead the team to 3 straight Big East Division Championships.
How did you pick Marquette University as the place you wanted to go to school and play college soccer?
“My sister Katie played a big role in me wanting to go to Marquette. She was playing for Marquette when I was being recruited, so I was already familiar with the school and soccer program. I got to know the coaches, and not only did I admire their success over the years, but I also liked them as people. I had already realized that respecting and liking your coaches on and off the field is one of the most important things in enjoying playing and picking a school."
How did the training and competition you had as a youth player help prepare you for collegiate success?
"Without the excellent training and competitive environment I had growing up as a youth player, I would not be playing Division 1 soccer. I was fortunate to have great coaches and a special committed team that was always one of the top in the country. The combination of great training and great teammates committed to similar goals helped make college soccer success possible."
What is your favorite part about playing in college?
"There are a lot of perks playing in college but my favorite part is that I’m with my teammates all the time; we really have become a family who genuinely supports and cares for one another. As with doing anything meaningful, there are always challenges and hardships, but we are always there for each other to get through them."
What are your favorite memories of playing in club?
"There are definitely some big games we won that stick out to me, but my favorite memories are those times spent hanging out with my teammates at practice and on road trips. We were a close-knit group and together we got to travel to some cool places (Washington DC, Texas, Florida, San Diego, etc.) and we always had a blast on those trips. I love playing soccer, but when you are working hard with players that share the same goals, the experience becomes even better and more memorable."
How do you think your soccer career (youth and college) helped you most?
"My soccer career has helped me in so many different ways. It has taught me when and how to be a leader or a follower, to understand what it means to be hardworking (and what it takes), and to learn time management balancing soccer, school and a social life. That’s just the start."
What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had given you while you were a youth soccer player?
"Constantly work on and improve your basic technical skills - especially with your non-dominant foot. Getting better with your first touch, juggling, and striking a ball with different surfaces are so important to being a good player. You need to get comfortable with the soccer ball as young as possible - it is the quickest path to a successful soccer career. Never underestimate how much better and sharper you can get if you work hard."