Sacred Heart Prep alumnae soccer stars recruited to play for U.S. National Team
Two Sacred Heart Prep (SHP) alumnae have advanced their soccer careers to the U.S. Women’s National Team. Abby Dahlkemper (SHP ’11), a graduate of UCLA, plays for the North Carolina Courage of the National Women’s Soccer League and Tierna Davidson (SHP ’16), plays for Stanford University.
“Every time I watch them compete, I still see them as Gators and feel this enormous sense of both pride and gratitude,” said Frank Rodriguez, assistant principal of athletics at SHP, referencing the SHP “Gators” mascot.
As a high school student at SHP, Abby led her team to their first Central Coast Section girls’ soccer championship in 2009 when she was only a sophomore. She also played with the girls’ U.S. National team as starting center back — the same position she is currently playing on the U.S. Women’s National team.
“Sacred Heart Schools taught me the value of dedication and hard work,” she said. “Being able to attend such an elite high school and being surrounded by an atmosphere of high aspirations and personal growth, the environment pushed me to learn to be able to take care of my work in the classroom and on the field with great passion and desire to succeed.”
Winning league and the CCS title her sophomore year was “such a special memory that I will definitely hold on to for the rest of my life. I was honored to be surrounded by great coaches, and teammates on an unforgettable run to the trophy,” she said.
Her career as a student-athlete has helped Abby in her adult life. “I’ve learned how to manage my time, how to take care of my health and body, as well as the meaning of hard work and giving it all you have in all areas of life.”
Tierna’s three-year career at SHP advanced her team to three consecutive Central Coast Section championship games, where they won two section titles.
“One of my favorite memories from high school soccer was my junior year when we beat Menlo in regular season; there was such a sense of determination and passion throughout every member of the team that was just so contagious. It was a surreal environment to be a part of,” she said.
Being a student-athlete taught Tierna skills she would not have learned otherwise. “One of the hardest parts of being a student-athlete is time management. Between soccer and school, there is little time for other activities if not planned correctly. SHP both challenged and motivated me to allocate and plan my time to maximize my efficiency both academically and athletically.”
With both women’s achievements, it would come as no surprise to see them represent the U.S. in future World Cup and Olympic soccer competitions.
“How spectacular would that be?” said Rodriguez.
Photo top of Tierna Davidson courtesy of the athlete; photo of Abby Dahlkemper courtesy of U.S. Soccer