PLYMOUTH 50-for-50: Her competitive nature set Alison Foley apart from the rest on the soccer fieldWicked Local South/Mariner, Marshfield, Mass. — David Wolcott Wicked Local South/Mariner, Marshfield, Mass.
May 23-- May 23--PLYMOUTH -- The list of soccer credentials for this week's 50-for-50 profile Alison Foley is long as well as impressive, and it all began with Plymouth Youth Soccer.
"It seems so long ago," Foley joked. "My dad, Tom, was vice-president of Plymouth Youth Soccer, and he helped get it up and running with league president John Tocci. My older brother played soccer and that opened the door for myself and my brother (Plymouth North Girls Soccer Head Coach Eric Foley) to get involved with the game.
"I loved playing soccer when I was younger, and I guess I was lucky enough never to lose that love of the game."
After a great playing career at Plymouth-Carver (Class of 1988) and then Keene State College ('91), Alison easily transitioned into the coaching ranks. She started right away as an assistant coach while working on her graduate degree at James Madison University. She was there for four years before traveling to Texas to take over as head coach of the Angelo State program for two seasons.
The Boston College head coaching job opened up in 1997 and that's where Foley would call home for the next 22 seasons, becoming the winningest coach in program history (280-145-39). Along the way she led her teams to 15 NCAA Division I tournament appearances. Foley's teams made it to the Sweet 16 eight times, the Elite 8 in four seasons as well as the Final Four in 2010.
Dennis Azevedo coached Foley in soccer and basketball at Plymouth-Carver. He said there was one thing in particular that set her apart.
"Alison had a competitive fire inside her that was unlike anything I've seen before or since," Azevedo said. "She was absolutely driven to win and was not going to stop until she got to where she wanted to be."
"I remember one home game when we were taking on Weymouth South for the Old Colony League championship," Azevedo said. "They were coming off the bus and walking down the hill at the old Mario J. Romano Field when we saw that the coach was wearing a sweatshirt that had a P-C on it with a slash going through it.
"The girls were a little ticked when they saw what she was wearing, as was I, but Alison came up to me and said not to worry because she had the situation handled. Well Alison goes out and scores four goals and we take the OCL title with a 5-1 victory.
"That tells you all you need to know about Alison's competitive nature. We were already a good soccer team, and Alison's talent and drive made us into a very good soccer team."
An All-State center midfielder twice at Plymouth-Carver, success followed Alison to Keene State, where she was a Division III All-American in 1990. She scored 33 goals and added 24 assists for 90 career points and is still ninth in career assists and points and 10th in career goals in program history.
Alison left Boston College after the 2018 season, but soccer is still a big part of Foley's daily life. She's a scout for the U.S. Youth National Soccer program and is CEO of Foley Athletic Advising, a business that helps guide families through the college recruiting process.
"I'm having a lot of fun with this business venture," said Alison, who turned 50 last month. "We work as a consultant for prospective student-athletes who might be looking to play in college. We've got a lot of soccer players, but we have a good amount of kids that play other sports as well."
A big part of finding the right college path for families is remembering there are two parts to the student-athlete combination.
"There are equal parts to that equation: student and athlete," Alison explained. "It helps when you look at a prospective college and take athletics out of the equation. Does the school have what you want if you weren't playing sports? You have to look at the size of the school, what majors does it have that might interest you, and what are the other intangibles" that could sway your decision.
"You also must remember that choosing a college is a process. Things very well could change along the way."
Foley is becoming more experienced with the college recruiting process every day. Her daughter, Sidnie, is a high school junior being recruited as both a track star and a soccer player.
"I'm going through the recruiting process right now with Sidnie," said Foley. "It opens your eyes seeing it from a different point of view."
Foley recently finished her second book with co-author Mia Wenjen. "The Elusive Full Ride Scholarship: The Insiders Guide" is available on Amazon as well audreypress.com this week.
Each week during 2020, the 50-for-50 project will profile a Plymouth person or state championship team that positively impacted the town in the last 50 years. To nominate someone, email Sports Editor David Wolcott Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org with information on the nominee.
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