It's always tough for an athlete being recruited out of high school to find the right fit in college.
Carson High's Cassie Bowman believes she's found the right fit, signing a letter-of-intent on Tuesday to play women's soccer with NAIA William Penn in Iowa. Bowman was being recruited from the junior college to the Division I level, but believes playing at NAIA William Penn is the best fit for her. "I felt William Penn was better suited for my abilities," she said.
The chance to play right away was also another reason why Bowman chose William Penn. Bowman is expected to be William Penn's starting center midfielder as a freshman next season. "I'm hoping that I will be starting," Bowman said.
Carson High girls soccer coach Randy Roser said he expects Bowman to do well. "I think she's a DI player right now," he said. "I think she's ready to go."
But Roser also noted that in women's soccer, there's not much of a difference between Division I and NAIA. "We've always felt NAIA is the way to go," he said.
Among the schools who showed interest in Bowman were Western Nevada Community College, Lassen and Feather River. Among the Division I schools who showed interest was San Francisco.
Bowman passed up the chance to play for a local JC - including WNCC - believing that an NAIA school was the best fit for her. She was also recruited by NAIA power Southwest Baptist in Missouri. Southwest Baptist is coached by former Lassen coach Ben Wade, who recruited Northern Nevada heavily while at Lassen and still recruits the area heavily.
But the timing and what each school could offer led Bowman to choose William Penn over Southwest Baptist. "It really came down to money," Bowman said.
Through academics, athletic and fine arts scholarships, Bowman is receiving a package that will cover most of her cost at Wiliams Penn. Bowman, a 3.8 student who made the all-state academic team, plans to major in communications and fine arts.
At Carson, Bowman was the Sierra League's midfielder of the year for the past two seasons. She helped lead the Senators to the Northern 4A finals as a sophomore and a senior.
Bowman will also be joining a successful NAIA program. William Penn has had eight straight winning seasons and finished last fall with a 12-5-2 record, going 6-1 in the Midwest Classic Conference to finish as conference co-champions.
She made a recruting trip to William Penn in November where she played with some of the members of the team. "I'd like to win a national championship," Bowman said.
"She's one of the kids that every coach wishes they had," Roser said. "She always played hard. Theere was never a game where she walked off the field not tired."