A WPIAL soccer player's college choice usually isn't big news. But Meghan Klingenberg's recent college selection is noteworthy.
Klingenberg, a senior on the Pine-Richland girls' team, has made a verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina. Klingenberg, the Post-Gazette Player of the Year in 2005, will sign a letter of intent with the Tar Heels in November.
Choosing North Carolina would be like a WPIAL basketball player choosing UCLA during coach John Wooden's glory days. North Carolina is the premier women's program in the country, winning 18 of the past 24 national championships. Mia Hamm is a former North Carolina player. The Tar Heels' coach, Anson Dorrance, was the former coach of the U.S. women's World Cup team.
"North Carolina is a storied program," said Pine-Richland coach Jodi Chmielewski. "It's unbelievable for somebody from our area to go and play there."
North Carolina became interested in Klingenberg last summer after seeing her play for the U.S. under 17 national team in Texas. The Tar Heels started to recruit Klingenberg after she played for the U.S. team in a tournament in Brazil in December.
Klingenberg, a 5-foot-2 midfielder, turned down full scholarship offers from other Division I colleges to accept a half-scholarship to North Carolina.
"I've wanted to go to North Carolina ever since I've been 8 or 9 years old," Klingenberg said. "Just because of its reputation, and you always hear about them being so good."
Mike White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1975.