Thompson to play at Washington St., major in child education

February 5, 2017

Rachel Thompson soccer

Rachel Thompson

When most athletes sign with a NCAA D1 program, they make the decision based on the sport.

But goalkeeper Rachel Thompson of Nikiski picked Washington State University for academics.

Playing soccer is a bonus.

“WSU was the right school because it has a fantastic education program and that was the first thing that attracted me to the school,” she told me. “I plan to major in Early Childhood Education and get my bachelor’s degree. I want to become a preschool teacher.”

Thompson, of Nikiski High fame, will transfer to Washington State after wrapping up her sophomore year at Highline College in the Seattle area.

At Highline, she recorded 26 career shutouts in two seasons with the NWAC school. Last season as a sophomore, she put together an 11-game shutout streak that extended a total of 1,104 minutes of game time.

“Highline helped me get ready for this by their intensity during training, especially during goalie training,” Thompson said. “They demanded excellence and I know that it’s expected at Washington State as well.”

She helped Highline reach consecutive NWAC tournament championship games.

“The NWAC was a very tough conference to compete in,” she said. “The level of competition was very high and that helped a lot. It also helped that we made it to the championship so that helped me gain a lot of experience.”

Just hours after her final game at Highline, her coach told her that Washington State was interested.

“They called me a couple days later and we set up an official visit,” she said. “I went and visited the Monday after Thanksgiving and I knew right away that it was the perfect school.

“I am both anxious and excited about this. It’s just a new experience and I don’t really know what to expect yet because it will be such a different experience. But I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life.”