By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
When McNary senior Jessy Shore narrowed her college decision down to four schools, not one was closer than 3,000 miles from home.
“I knew I wanted to go somewhere far away,” Shore said. “I’m not fond of the midwest and I’ve been on a couple of (Washington) D.C. trips and I liked the east coast.”
Shore got to her final four colleges by using Oregon’s Career Information System, which allows students to plug in the major, location and type of college they are looking for and then gives them a list of schools.
After visiting Bridgwater State and Fitchburg State in Massachusetts, the University of New England in Maine and the University of New Hampshire, Shore narrowed her choice down to two and over spring break went to Bridgwater and New England for a second time.
She then signed with New England in the McNary library on Wednesday, April 11.
While Shore was determined to play soccer in college, academics was the most important part of her decision.
“It was definitely first academics and then I looked at soccer, just because I love it and I didn’t want to part with it so soon,” Shore said. “ I really wanted to play, but I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my schooling for the ability to play.”
Choosing between her final two came down to team chemistry.
“Both times I met one-on-one with the players and to see how I meshed with their style of living and how they were as people and I bonded a lot better with UNE and those players,” Shore said.
Shore began playing when she was six with Keizer Soccer Club.
“I’ve never played another sport,” Shore said.
“I’ve always loved it (soccer). I know my first year playing I was one of the worst people on the team. I was definitely not the best player out there but I loved it enough that I kept working at it.”
Shore started 55 of 57 games at McNary, scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists.
She was a team captain for three years.
“It’s been awesome to have a leader like Jessy on this team to help mold this program,” McNary head coach A.J. Nash said. “Her leadership has changed the course of McNary soccer. It’s been pretty fun to watch. It’s been through grit and effort. Jessy from the very beginning has exemplified good character and being a great teammate, always fighting for the person on the team that maybe doesn’t have that voice. Shows up early, stays late, all of those things that are going to make (her) great at life.”
After McNary finished 4-10 Shore’s freshman year, the Lady Celts improved to 6-8 her sophomore season and then qualified for the state playoffs the past two years, with a combined record of 16-9-5.
“It’s definitely been a journey,” Shore said. “First year was very rough, definitely. I think that the biggest thing that we’ve all tried to do is have fun throughout the four years and the more that we had fun, the better we played. The more that we loved what we were doing, the more work we were willing to put in for it.”
Before leaving the program, Shore got Nash back for a prank he played on her and the rest of the team four years ago, when he pretended to have the senior captains arrested.
“He got a police officer to come and ask for our senior captains my freshman year. But nobody else on the team knew except for the captains. They acted it out. They were stone-faced and totally playing into it. He brought us all over to the girls and they were standing behind a shed with their hands behind their back so it looked like they had been cuffed. They were playing into it a lot. I was freaking out. They pulled their hands from behind their back and they had squirt guns and sprayed us all.”
Her senior season, on Nash’s birthday, Shore had cops come to practice to arrest her coach. The officers told Nash that a player had filed a complaint against him and then called over Shore, who said Nash was the coach who had pranked her four years earlier.
“It was a lot of fun,” Shore said of pranking her coach. “I didn’t tell any of the girls either so all of them were into it. My mom got it on film and even from where she was filming you could see his facial reactions. He had no idea what was going on.”
The University of New England, located in Biddeford, Maine, 20 miles south of Portland, is a Division III program in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.