3 Carson athletes pick colleges | NevadaAppeal.com

3 Carson athletes pick colleges

Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Brandi Vega made it official on Wednesday when she signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer at Washington State University.

Two other Carson athletes ” boys soccer star Blake Moreland and softball outfielder Katie McEwan ” also signed letters of intent to continue their playing careers. Moreland will be attending Saint Martin’s University while McEwan is going to Santa Barbara City College.

Vega, the state scoring leader with 77 goals, chose the Cougars, a member of the Pac-10, over Fresno State, Arizona State, Gonzaga, Hawaii, Portland and UCLA among others.

“It’s been a long, stressful process,” Vega said. “I’m kind of glad it’s over. It was fun to see what different programs are about. I went to a summer camp at UCLA and people talked about the whole recruiting process. I got interested in it.”

Vega came back to Carson City and talked to coach Randy Roser, who encouraged her to make a list and whittle it down each year. Eventually, Vega got the list down to five schools this year, and coach Matt Potter’s Cougars won the bidding war.

The choice makes a lot of sense when you consider that Vega has relatives nearby and the Bay Area, where she will play against both Cal and Stanford, is close for her parents to see away games.

“I liked the campus,” Vega said. “The campus is beautiful. (Pullman) is a small town and everybody knows everybody. You can walk around and people will say ‘hey, good game last night.’ You get that feel around there.

“I’ll get good competition. If I’m going to play somewhere, I want to get better and the only way you do that is playing against the best.”

Vega said she doesn’t know what her role will be yet, though she knows she will be playing forward. She played forward and midfield at Carson.

“He (coach Potter) said if I come in fit and ready he would take care of the rest,” Vega said. “I grew up playing forward. I know it pretty well. I’m comfortable up there.”

What’s interesting is that Vega passed on warm-weather schools like Fresno State, Hawaii, Arizona State and Arizona to stay in the colder climate of Pullman.

“I don’t mind the weather,” Vega said. “I don’t mind the snow. It was 115 in Arizona. My mom loves the beach. I’m not into that.”

Vega, who was involved in the Nevada Olympic Development Program and club soccer in Sacramento, plans to major in architecture at WSU.

– Moreland, who scored seven goals and dished out 11 assists, concluded a lengthy process when he signed with Saint Martin’s, a Division II school from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Moreland received a substantial soccer scholarship and also the Chancellor’s Scholarship, which is Saint Martin’s highest academic honor. Moreland currently carries a 4.557 GPA.

Moreland said he became aware of Saint Martin’s while he was playing in a college showcase tournament.

“I saw the school on a list at a tournament and I e-mailed the coach (Rob Walker),” Moreland said. “I sent a resume and recruitment video. He invited me up there to visit the school.

“Since my freshman year I’ve worked to play college soccer. The four years of hard work is paying off.”

Moreland admitted that he had to be more aggressive in hunting down a scholarship; that it’s tough to get noticed coming out of Northern Nevada compared to other places.

Moreland will bring an impressive soccer resume to Saint Martin’s. He started on two Nevada State Cup teams at the U-13 and U-17 level with Real Las Vegas. That squad afforded him the opportunity to play in showcase tournaments around the West. He also was a four-year member of the Nevada 1991 Olympic Development Program team.

Moreland said he was recruited to play all four midfield positions.

“I’ll play wherever they want me to play if it gets me as much playing time as possible,” Moreland said.

Moreland plans to major in either physical therapy or education.

– McEwan caught the attention of Santa Barbara City coaches back in November when she was playing for the California Chaos, a team based out of the Sacramento-Yuba City area.

An out-of-state junior college athlete has to make the first contact with a school out of his/her area of residence.

“They scouted me there,” McEwan said. “When I visited, I liked it a lot.”

Santa Barbara likes McEwan’s speed and ability to slap hit, The Carson senior said she went to a scouting tournament in Las Vegas and was timed in 2.41 from home to first. It was in the top eight out of 600 players.

“I was looking at San Diego State, but I wanted to go to a junior college first,” McEwan said. “I can get help with academics (tutoring). They have a great program there. I can’t thank my dad enough. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to make it.”

McEwan said the decision is a great weight off her shoulders.

“I didn’t want it to get in the way,” she said. “I’m going to play as hard as I can this year. I didn’t want to be worrying about where I was going.”

That’s good news for Carson coach Scott Vickrey.

“She’s a good offensive threat with her speed,” Vickrey said “It adds a new dimension to the game. She works really hard and is a positive role model on the team.”

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling 881-1281