Carson Marshall worked tirelessly throughout his Polk County soccer career to earn an opportunity to play college soccer.
He’ll go across the United States this fall with a chance to just do that.
Marshall has been invited to try out for the program at Occidental College in Los Angeles. The Wolverine senior has already received an honors academic scholarship from Occidental that will help defray much of the expenses at the private liberal arts campus.
Polk County High recognized Marshall’s invitation during a ceremony Friday morning in the school library.
“It’s really surreal,” he said. “It still hasn’t sunk in. I’ve wanted to play college soccer since my sophomore year, and I had a school I wanted to go to. Then my junior year I decided on a different school, but that didn’t work out.
“At the last minute I found out about Occidental. They don’t guarantee roster spots. They’ll bring in 33 players and keep 28. But the coaches think I have a good shot at coming in and making the roster. The ball’s in my court, really.”
Marshall will look to join an Occidental program that finished 9-8-1 last season. The Division III Tigers compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Head coach Rod Lafaurie and staff have indicated that Marshall will likely get a look in the defensive half of the field, where he starred for Polk County.
“I’ve talked to the coaches a lot, and they’ve talked about me coming in as a center back, but most likely I’ll be playing at outside back or maybe even midfield,” Marshall said. “I don’t really care where I play as long as I get to play.”
Also a standout academically, Marshall hopes to pursue a pre-medical path, majoring in either neuroscience or mental cognition with a minor in either Chinese or education.
“I’m going to literally be across the country,” Marshall said. “It may be tough adjustment-wise and it may be hard for me missing home, but I think it’s something I won’t know until I get there.
“This shows hard work pays off. It’s a dream come true.”