Women’s Soccer Notebook: Fillion turns pro, McCurdy next?
Former Wright State forward Emilie Fillion signed a professional contract in the Netherands for FC Twente in the BeNe League last week and joined the squad over the weekend.
Fillion had 18 career goals for the Raiders and is coming off a standout senior campaign scoring eight tallies and setting the WSU single season record for shots attempted with 72.
“I signed for the challenge of something new and a big club like this offering such a good opportunity, I couldn’t say no,” Fillion said. “They needed someone and I was in the right place at the right time.”
Fillion said she expects a completely different style of play than what she has seen in the Horizon League, as she becomes the second Raider to play in the BeNe League joining Brittany Persaud.
“She’s a great player but it was tough for her,” WSU head coach Pat Ferguson said. “She tore her ACL before she came in but honestly in the last two years, she has physically transformed herself in terms of nutritional habits, as far as her work habits.”
Ferguson added that he did not think Fillion would get this opportunity earlier in her collegiate career but her work habit allowed her to earn the professional opportunity.
The opportunity for her to play at Wright State nearly did not happen. Fillion had committed to playing at UNC-Wilmington. After the program had some changes in its scholarship structure, the coach at Wilmington called Ferguson asking if he had a scholarship said Ferguson.
Fillion recently graduated from WSU with a 4.0 GPA.
Potentially joining the professional ranks is goalkeeper Brooke McCurdy who set Wright State’s career save record. She has been invited to preseason camp with FC Kansas City.
Ferguson believes having three former players among the professional ranks shows the growth of Wright State’s program.
“I think it says a lot about the program,” Ferguson said. “It says a lot about the players and I think it is very special. There are not a lot of Division I programs in this area that can say that.”
If McCurdy decides to accept the invitation, she will have to compete for playing time with one of the nation’s best. U.S. National Team’s Nicole Barnhart is currently the starting for Kansas City. Barnhart is one of three National Team members playing for F.C. Kansas City.
Ferguson said that McCurdy has a stress fracture in her foot which might cause her to decline the invitation.
“I have broken my foot so now I cannot train for another 4-6 weeks,” McCurdy said. “For now everything is up in the air.”
“She’ll have a number of opportunities,” Ferguson said. “She is definitely a next-level kind of player.”
Ferguson inks 12
Losing players at the level of McCurdy and Fillion will be a challenge but Ferguson believes he has a deeper squad from the one that came a win shy of winning the Horizon League regular season crown.
Following national letter of intent day last Wednesday, Ferguson believes he will have up to 12 ladies sign, all of whom from the state of Ohio.
Ferguson said he did not intentionally target Ohio players, but it allows him to maximize the number of scholarships he is able to award.
“It is as talented as far as soccer ability as any class I have brought in,” said Ferguson who joined Wright State in 2005. “But like Bobby Knight said, ‘if you want to know if a recruiting class is good, ask me after their junior year.’”
Ferguson said that the progress his program has made allowed him to win some battles over larger, more established programs.
“In the past, if I offered the same scholarship to a kid as Cincinnati, Xavier, Dayton and Miami, we would never get them even though we were consistently better than three of those four schools,” Ferguson said. “But now, we have actually won some recruiting battles with those schools.”