August 12, 2014
FCNova Director of Coaching, Eric Simmonsen along with staff were able to sit down with alum Ali Skogrand today. Catching up on old times, old coaches and teammates over the years. Ali is in town having just landed form Sweden where she was playing for BK30Dam in the Swedish A Division of women's professional soccer. As she enters her senior year this fall, Ali was able to reminisce about her days in Idaho, her road through injuries as a youth player, leading her to Walla Walla Community College. Then she earned a full ride scholarship to Southwest Baptist, playing NCAA DII while winning a conference championship this past fall of 2013.
While playing at Southwest Baptist, an international teammate from Sweden had written the chairman of BK30Dam about Ali and her abilities. After discussion Ali was able to travel to Sweden and participate in the second half of the women's league. "After I landed in Sweden it was kind of surreal and then the next thing you know, I'm playing in my first match a day later. That did not go so well with jetlag, new world, etc.", Ali explained as she let out one of her signature laughs and smiled.
Through pain and perseverance, Ali has overcome 3 ACL tears (2 from soccer and 1 from basketball, her mother Connie is the Varsity Basketball Coach at Mountain View) she has found her way. "Ali was being recruited by Division I schools into and after her U17/U18 year, but the ACL tear that winter leading into her senior year during basketball put a damper on her post high school ventures", said then team coach and FCNova Director of Coaching, Eric Simmonsen. But she did not give up. Eventually landing at Walla Walla CC (redshirting her freshman year), Ali battled through and lead the Warriors to more championships, eventually earning a full ride scholarship to Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, Missouri. "When I first got an email from Southwest Baptist I thought...Missouri, I'm not going to Missouri", said Skogrand. But everything falls into place somehow; they had the program choice and athletics helped pay for her education.
This coming fall, her senior year, is an exciting time as she will graduate with a degree in jounalism, capping off years of hard work and a great attitude. She even has an opportunity to sign a professional contract in Sweden after her graduation in the winter of 2014/15 based on her play this past summer alowing her to play a full season in Sweden.
"Ali was always an extraordinary human being number one. The fact that the game has taken her all over the world is no surprise to me", said Eric Simmonsen. FCNova are excited for Ali as an alumni and excited to see where the vehicle of soccer takes her in life! Good luck Ali and we'll be watching you!