BURBANK HIGH — Katie Beattie wondered how she was going to fit in with the Burbank High girls' soccer team this season.
A transfer from Folsom in Sacramento County, Beattie joined the program last summer, as she prepared to play for the Bulldogs her senior season.
"Over the summer I met all the girls and I really seemed to bond with the seniors," Beattie said. "They were really nice to me from the start and that made it very easy to just blend into the team."
It didn't take much time for the midfielder to impress Burbank Coach Loi Phan.
"I told her in the summer when I saw her for the first time that I'm going to be excited to see how she plays," Phan said. "I could see she was legit. Since I've been at Burbank coaching the girls, there were only about three girls that I really thought had a shot at playing on the [Division I college] level, and Katie is one of them."
Beattie has not doubt caught the eye of more than just her coach. After taking several recruiting trips, Beattie has made a verbal commitment to St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. She said she will be signing her national letter of intent any day.
Beattie, who had 10 goals and eight assists for the Bulldogs going into Friday's match, said there were several factors that came into play that made her ultimately decide on St. Joseph's.
"First of all, I just really love the East Coast," said Beattie, who also competes for the Los Angeles Football Club team. "I really like the environment at the school and I really liked the players. I stayed with the players the last time I was there and they welcomed me right away. The coaches are also really great."
Saint Joseph's plays in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The team struggled at times during the 2010 season, finishing 5-11-2 overall and 2-5-2 in conference.
Beattie said she is hoping to get an opportunity to crack the Hawks starting lineup right off the bat.
"At this school the freshmen get to play," said Beattie, who has been playing soccer since age 5. "They let whoever is the best play, so I'm looking forward to hopefully getting to play as a freshman."
Phan has been able to witness Beattie's talents up close for almost an entire season now. He said he is confident that the senior will be able to compete on the Division I collegiate level.
"She has just great vision on the field, and that's something you just can't teach," Phan said.
"On the next level, you have to play a physical-type of game. If you don't have that in you you won't play. Some girls don't like to play a physical game. Katie can play that physical style of soccer. I don't see her having any problem with that on the next level."
Matching an opponent in a physical match is no problem for Beattie.
"Physical, that's my favorite," she said. "When we play physical, tough games, that's what I like.
"I'm going to also be playing in the midfield for St. Joe's, and they said they needed someone physical who is going to be a force on the field, so hopefully that's me."