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  • Brady Woodhouse

Soccer Star Kylie Emanuel Commits to the University of Pennsylvania for Division I

Emanuel posted this image on her Instagram account, announcing her verbal commitment to the University of Pennsylvania / Credits: Unknown

This August, Kylie Emanuel (‘25) verbally committed to the University of Pennsylvania for Division I soccer. After playing on the DCIAA Championship-winning Walls girls soccer team, being named the DCIAA Player of the Year, and leading the league in scoring with a resounding 26 goals, her commitment comes as no surprise. 

“Soccer is the biggest thing in my life,” Emanuel said. The DC soccer star started playing when she was four-years-old, and the sport has been a consistent part of her life ever since. However, she only became serious about the sport during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, “I just started training on my own at RFK and I improved drastically in that time,” Emanuel explained. When competitions and practices opened up post-pandemic, her hard work had paid off. Emanuel decided she wanted to join a team that would be looked upon more fondly by college recruiters.

Joining a strong team was not just for fun  — Emanuel knew that it would be important for her future of playing soccer in college. Emanuel said, “I had known by then that I wanted to play in college, and colleges mostly look at your club team. So, I tried out for a very strong team called Arlington ECNL [Arlington Soccer Elite Clubs National].” Being one of the best club teams in the region, colleges like the University of Pennsylvania were much more likely to attend and notice her at games and showcases.

On June 15 of Emanuel’s sophomore year, per NCAA rules, college coaches were allowed to reach out to her as a potential recruit. The University of Pennsylvania acted quickly. Emanuel explained, “like 3 am of June 15, the Penn Coach, Krissy Turner, texted me expressing interest.” Emanuel organized chats with Coach Turner, ecstatic about this opportunity. 

However, this was just the beginning of the process. Turner and other recruiters continued to watch her performance at games and showcases over the summer. NCAA rules state that colleges can only offer potential recruits visits on Aug. 1. On that day, Coach Turner was able to set up a visit for Emanuel, during which Emanuel was offered a place on the team. Emanuel accepted the offer about a week after. 

For prospective college athletes, Emanuel advised, “start earlier than you expect.” Besides starting early, she also emphasized that being proactive throughout the process is very important. “You should be constantly sending out emails, introducing yourself, and going to ID camps that colleges host from way before colleges can even reach out,” she said. 

Additionally, “for soccer and most other sports, colleges look at club teams,” Emanuel said. She explained that joining a competitive club team is important for being on recruiters’ radar. “I was able to get a lot more exposure to college coaches,” Emanuel said.  

But most of all, Emanuel counseled students to “work hard.” In order to be recruited, “you need to be a really good player,” she said, emphasizing that her other advice only works if students have put in the work to perform well in their sport.

Looking ahead, Emanuel is excited to play Division I soccer. “I know that I will need to work harder than ever both on the field and in the classroom. But I’m really excited for this, and to play for huge crowds.” She continued, “my dream is to win an NCAA tournament, that would be amazing.” The possibilities are endless. With only a non-binding verbal commitment, however, Emanuel will need to maintain her grades and soccer performance. To be sure, Walls will be expecting another triumphant soccer season next fall from Emanuel.


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