My Path to D1 Soccer

My name is Elise Larimer. My parents put me on my 1st soccer team at 4 years old, because I didn't like gymnastics. I was the only girl on the parent coached, 5-a-side team that I played on for 3 seasons. I loved playing with the boys and cried when I had to move to a girls u7 team.

Just before I turned 7, some of my friends from school told me that they were trying out for the for the Youth Academy... and I wanted to play with them.

Even though I was young, the clubs u12 director, Coach Emily, said that I could "give tryouts a shot." I guess I did well, because she let join the academy program as the clubs 1st u7 academy player. Before long I was playing a double schedule on weekends, playing up with the "top" youth academy teams and also being a playmaker for the u8 teams on age. I'm told I would ask before each game "Is this a 'scoring game' or a 'helping game'?"

In fall of 2017, my club formed the "Grey team," which was a like a pre-ECNL team and we played up a year in NCYSA. Over the next 3 years I received the best coaching of my youth soccer career and we were the number one u12 and u13 team in the state. Playing bigger, stronger girls that taught us to play as a team and not rely on athleticism.

About that time I also started playing with the North Carolina Olympic Development Program. I consistantly started as Center Forward with the "NC1" team throughout my 6 years in the program, and was selected for the South Region Camp every year that North Carolina sent 07 players. During my 3rd trip to the camp I was finally selected to play on the South Region Team at the ODP Inter-regionals.

A lot of people have asked me "Was ODP worth it?" For me it was absolutely worth it. I was able to make life-long friends with my teammates on the North Carolina team and with girls from all over the southeast at region camp. I also got to know a number of college coaches, one of which offered me a scholarship, but all of whom taught me how to make a connection with coaches and not fear them during my recruiting process.

I played high school soccer too. My high school had won it league all but one year since it was started and it had always been difficult for a freshman to make varsity, but my freshman year they decided to take no freshman at all and it ended up being the best thing that could have happened for me. I took the opportunity to learn to be a leader, on an off the field. I played the 10 and led the team in scoring with 16 goals in 12 games and gave many of the halftime speeches. We went 12-0 with no goals allowed and had the 1st perfect season in the history of the school. This experience made me think much more about the stratgey of the game, made me more comfortable holding my teammates accountable, and made me much more vocal on the field.

I have never been known as a "fast" player which made me play forward differently than many 9's. I played the position more like a false 9 or really high 10. I learned to control the ball quickly with my first touch, hold the ball with strength, find my teammates with field awareness and creative passing, scoring with a powerful shot fom either side and finishing crosses, creating set piece opportuinties by earning fouls and delivering well placed free kicks, and to ice games, or create an chance to win, by taking every opportunity to control the pace of games.

Ultimately my hardwork paid off and I was offered the opportunity to play for my first choice school at UNC Wilmington. I knew UNCW was where I wanted to be during the 1st ID camp I attended my freshman year. I loved the campus, the coaches, the team, the city and really... who doesn't want to go to college 3 miles from the beach?

I am proud to be a seahawk #HawkYeah!

Facts About Me

  • Birthday

    August 27, 2007

  • Hometown

    Cornelius, NC

  • Favorite Hobby

    Weight Lifting

  • Favorite Foods

    Smoothies, Sushi
    & Chicken Wings

Important Social Causes

My Favorite Things