Speak with alum Devan Talley about the moments from her years with Eastside FC that made the most indelible impact, and you might get an unexpected answer.

 

It’s not just about the goals and the clean sheets, games and championships won, but about the overall experience.

 

“One of my favorite memories is traveling to Surf Cup. Not only did we get to play new high-level teams, but we also got the chance to explore and experience San Diego as friends,” she says. “I still remember going to the beach and playing in the waves with my teammates for hours, then getting up the next day and kicking butt in our games.”

 

Devan graduated from Eastern Washington University, where she majored in visual communication design, collected a Big Sky Academic All-Conference honor and was a four-year starter on the soccer field.  She currently works for Nordstrom in print design for kids’ clothing. Firmly entrenched in the Eagles record books, she ranks 6th all-time in matches played, assists and shots on goal, while finishing with the 8th most goals and 9th most points in program history. She credits much of her eventual success to the time spent at Eastside.

 

“When I first joined Eastside, I believe I was U9 or U10, and I got to be on the red team with Chance Fry as my coach. Over the years the club prepared me for playing at the college level by giving me the chance to travel, meet new players and play against high-level teams,” she explained. “Eastside also taught me how to succeed on a team, how to support one goal: winning.”

 

Devan went on to explain that it was the breadth of opportunity Eastside provides that made a difference to her, rather than just any one thing. “My time at Eastside FC brings back nothing but great memories. From the state championships to traveling to San Diego for Surf Cup, my team always battled to win and supported each other to keep going. Through Eastside, I also got the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Development Program, where I met many rival players and gained tons of exposure for playing at a higher level.”

 

After collecting a laundry list of high-school accolades, including 2013 KingCo 4A Most Valuable Player and being named to the 2013 and 2014 KingCo All-Conference first team, Talley traveled across the state to compete at Eastern. There she was part of a squad that won back-to-back Big Sky regular season championships in 2016 and 2017, as well as the 2017 Big Sky Conference Tournament.

 

“The highlight of my college career was definitely getting the opportunity to win a conference championship on our home field,” she said. “I still get flashbacks from when we won—the entire football team storming the field. Having your peers and community behind you, always showing you support, that can really change your experience.”

 

As usual, it always circles back to the ‘experience’ for Devan Talley.

 

“My advice for current Eastside players would be to enjoy the ride,” she says. “When you’re young and starting off, you don’t realize how fast it goes by. But when I look back now, I have nothing but smiles and great memories to thank Eastside for. Not everyone in this world is lucky enough to get the opportunity to play with such amazing coaches and teammates, so really cherish it.”