As part of our Featured Player content series, SoccerWire is publishing Q&A articles with recently-committed players who are Featured in the SoccerWire Player Directory. The series will allow players to share their stories on the college recruiting process, travel and high school soccer, and their passion for the beautiful game.

In this edition we will showcase Madeline Park, who has committed to play NCAA Division I soccer in 2025 at Cornell University. Park plays travel soccer in the Girls Academy for FRAM SC, and attends Chadwick High School in California.

SoccerWire: What made you decide to verbally commit to Cornell?

Madeline Park: Cornell has always been my top choice because of its academic excellence and strong commitment to athletics. Coming from a small private school in California, I wanted to broaden my horizon by immersing myself in the atmosphere of a large university on the East Coast. Cornell checked all the boxes for my personal criteria. After attending Cornell’s ID camp, visiting the campus, and meeting coach Ferguson and the coaching staff, I was thoroughly convinced that it was the perfect fit for me. In witnessing their unwavering passion and dedication to building a great team, I knew I wanted to learn from them. Their previous season’s performance serves as a testament to their commitment to their players and to the overall success of the program.

SW: What was the recruiting process like and what did you learn about yourself while going through it?

MP: The college recruiting process was stressful but exciting. I started the recruiting process during my freshman year when I researched colleges and narrowed it down to approximately 10 that fit my academic and soccer interest. Then I attended several ID camps in the summer after my freshman year, and during my sophomore year I continued to update college coaches with game videos and showcase schedules.

The stress was the “unknown” because college coaches could not communicate with me directly about recruiting. There are so many talented players for so few spots so it’s tough to stand out among the crowd, especially at ID camps. Sometimes the ball doesn’t come your way but I remained positive and tried to be the best teammate. The best part of the recruiting process was meeting new people from different regions during the ID camps. Although we might have been fighting for the same spot, we still respected and rooted for each other because we knew what it was like going through the same struggle. It was also exciting to visit colleges from various parts of the United States and seeing its unique characteristics.

SW: How has social media and being a SoccerWire Featured Player helped you with the college recruiting process?

MP: SoccerWire was an integral part of my recruiting process because it allowed me to identify and narrow down my college choices by researching different colleges, finding the type of players they typically recruit, and comparing myself to others to see where I stand. Being a featured player also provided additional exposure that assisted in my overall visibility to college coaches.

SW: What are your favorite subjects in school and what do you think you would like to study in college?

MP: My favorite subjects are English and math and I would like to pursue a degree in business and economics.

SW: Outside of soccer, what clubs, organizations, and/or jobs are you involved in?

MP: My two passions are sports and helping children. At Chadwick, along with soccer, I participate in varsity Volleyball and Track. I am also an active member of Chadwick’s Community outreach program helping underprivileged children, Athletic Council and Peer Mentors. Outside of school, I am a member of the National Charity League and look for opportunities to work with children.

SW: What has your experience been like playing for Fram SC?

MP: I joined FRAM because it allowed me to have the best life, school, and athletic balance. Plus, the coaches are amazing and very genuine and supportive of each player. My coach, Jack Gidney, who is also the Club Director, is very technical and precise in his instructions and drills during practices but gives us the freedom during games to understand the situation and figure things out for ourselves.

SW: Do you have any pregame rituals that you like to do to get yourself ready for a game?

I try not to think about the game too much on game day, regardless of its magnitude, and keep my mind preoccupied on other things. I listen to music during the drive but always end with a fast song to pump up. My last song is always the previous week’s song if we won. If we lost the previous week, then I pick a new last song.

SW: If you could give one piece of advice to a younger player that wants to play soccer at a high level what would it be?

MP: The most important lesson for young players is to treat the recruiting process as part of your life journey, focus on things you can control, and that the end result is not a validation of who you are and what type of a player you are. The recruiting process is difficult and stressful if you only concentrate on where you will be recruited. The process of research, writing emails, making videos, preparing for interviews, along with your commitment to practices, staying fit, and being a good teammate, will make you the best version of yourself for life, and not only for a brief moment in high school and college soccer. What you learn during this recruiting process will help you later with your job search, managing your time as an adult, and creating good habits.

SW: Is there anyone that you would like to give a shoutout to who has helped you both on and off of the field?

MP: I have to start with my parents, my two brothers and extended family members that have been my biggest supporters in everything I do. Regardless of how I performed, whether we won or lost, and no matter how long the drive to the games were, they were always there to give me a hug after each game. Soccer is a team sport and I would not be the player I am today without my current and former teammates. When I see their dedication and work ethic, it helps me to push harder and be the best teammate I can be. Finally, all my coaches from FRAM, Chadwick and other clubs and organizations have nurtured and guided me to fall in lov