There were two things Devin Pierre was looking for when he was weighing his college options – high-level academics and high-level soccer. The rising senior at Regis found both at Dartmouth, verbally committing to the Ivy League school Wednesday.
“I wanted to go somewhere that’s competitive in soccer and has a chance to win an Ivy League championship every year, which is something I’d love to be a part of and academics is something I put a priority on,” Pierre said. “To find a school like that is amazing. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Pierre chose Dartmouth, which is coming off its ninth Ivy League title and fifth NCAA tournament appearance, over Georgetown, Brown and Colgate. A member of the FC Westchester U-18 Academy team, Pierre said Dartmouth began recruiting him in January and became more interested at the U.S. Development Academy showcase in late June.
On Sunday, the first day coaches can contact potential recruits, Pierre received a call from Dartmouth coach Jeff Cook, who offered him a scholarship. Pierre, who visited the school in June, said he weighed his options for a couple of days and realized Dartmouth was his choice when he woke up Tuesday.
“I was just like, ‘yeah, this is definitely the place for me,’” Pierre said. “I knew it was the right choice.”
Pierre said Cook told him he’d have a chance to start as a freshman, likely as an outside back, and could grow into playing as a center back, which is where he plays for FC Westchester. At Regis, Pierre was utilized primarily as a defensive center midfielder and his versatility is one thing that made him an attractive recruit.
“I have no doubt that Devin will be fine on the Division I level,” said Vincent Catapano, who coached Pierre at Regis. “He has the technical ability as well as the work rate and eagerness to learn and get better, which translates well to Division I soccer.”
Catapano said he doesn’t expect Pierre to struggle adjusting to college soccer because he’s played at a high level with FC Westchester since he was 11. Coached by Fordham University’s Jim McElderry, Pierre is on a team that features former Iona Prep standouts Alex Kapp (Boston College), Cesar Ceja (Marist), New Canaan’s Scott Levene (UConn) and Blind Brook’s Lucas McBride (Boston University).
“The coaching staff and the emphasis they put on their players and even the support, I had tons of support from Coach McElderry and the director of FC Westchester, Lonnie Unger,” Pierre said. “I love it there and I really developed as a player there.”
A three-year starter at Regis, Pierre had five goals and eight assists last year, helping guide the Raiders to the CHSAA Class AA quarterfinals. Catapano calls Dartmouth a “perfect fit” for the technically gifted Pierre.
“Devin and Dartmouth are a great fit on and off the field,” Catapano said. “Coming from Regis, a great academic school was high on Devin’s priority list and the ability to attend an Ivy League institution and play is a perfect fit.”
Pierre said he’s relieved to get his college choice out of the way before the start of his senior year.
“At Regis everyone is stressed over college all the time and senior year first trimester is insane with applications, worrying about it and all the stress,” Pierre said. “This isn’t going to be too bad, I don’t think. Coach Cook said to keep the grades up and I’ll be fine.”
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