Prepping for a scholarship
Carson Provenzano is about to get a crash course in how to combine soccer and school.
The 18-year-old St. Catharines native and graduate of St. Francis will be attending Bridgton Academy in Maine this year to help him in his attempt to secure a Division I soccer scholarship.
“It’s a one-year, post grad school for me to get better exposure to Division I programs or any type of NCAA program,” Provenzano explained. “They will try and help me out in my recruitment process and my SAT scores and upgrading my marks.”
Provenzano feels he needs the extra year as a stepping stone to university.
“It’s going to be good for me,” he said. “They really give you a university experience. You take the same courses as high school but it’s a university experience. I will be living on campus and get my work done on my own time.
“It will be a good experience. I felt coming out of high school I wasn’t prepared enough for university so I feel like it was a good option for me.”
Provenzano had interest from schools, but the match wasn’t right.
“I had a couple of offers but it’s hard. The school that was looking at me didn’t have any (soccer scholarships) so being Canadian, we can’t go over there and afford the tuition.”
Provenzano was then was approached by Bridgton while at a University of New Hampshire ID camp.
“Their coach (Craig Wilkinson) came up to me and told me he liked how I played and told me about prep school and how they can help me along,” Provenzano said. “It’s a good option for me overall.”
Looking down the road, Provenzano would love to be able to attend the University of West Virginia and study law.
“We’ve been around the States for soccer and West Virginia has a really nice campus,” he said. “The soccer facilities look great and there is the whole school culture. They are really into their sports there.
“Something about it just got me.”
Provenzano began playing soccer as youngster out of Club Roma. He then moved to a soccer academy in Hamilton just before high school.
“We made that drive every day. It’s something not a lot of parents would do but my dad (Carmine) has been really supportive through this time,” Provenzano said. “Without him, I couldn’t do any of this. He drives everywhere and spends the money needed.”
As well, he has trained with former Italian pro Emanuele Ameltonis, who continues to play with the York Region Shooters of the Canadian Soccer League.
Provenzano had always been a goalie and isn’t really sure why he went down that path.
“My dad asked me the same question when I was younger. Everyone starts off and wants to play striker, but something about it got to me. I just love playing in net.”
Provenzano feels the mental approach to playing goal is key.
“I’ve had to deal with it a lot. It’s about having a strong mind and forgetting about that and getting your head back in the game. That’s usually how I play. If a goal goes in, you always think you can get it.
“I always think I can stop it. That’s my philosophy. A shot goes top corner, I still think I should have stopped it. If I made this cross step here maybe I could have got it. You dwell on it for like 15 seconds and then you have to get it out your mind or the game is going to go downhill. You have to have a strong mind.”
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