Kristjan Fortier to Join Syracuse for Soccer
With an impressive scholarship in hand, Kristjan Fortier, Grade 12, is getting set to continue his academic and athletic career at Syracuse University as a member of their soccer team.
“Syracuse was my top choice because it combined a good academic programme with a top-level soccer programme,” says Fortier. “The more frequently I met with Syracuse and their representatives and learned more about the school, the clearer my choice was. The fact that they offered me an almost full ride scholarship guaranteed for four years didn’t hurt either.”
The honour roll student has committed to Syracuse and is deciding between a few different programmes of study.
“I’ve narrowed down my desired programme to three: business, law, and medical sciences, and I’m working with Syracuse’s academic advisors to bring more focus to my ultimate choice,” he says. “From a soccer perspective, Syracuse was the 2022 national champion and a top-level university environment to bring my game to the next level. Coach Ian McIntyre and the rest of their coaching staff were fantastic throughout the recruitment period. They were direct about their interest in me joining their programme, but supportive of my needing time to consider my options.”
At SMCS, Fortier is a member of the Sr. Azzurri Soccer Team, which recently capped off a successful season with a CISAA championship win.
“Kristjan was an integral part of the senior Azzurri championship winning team,” says Miko Romano, coach and co-head of the Geography, Economics, and Accounting Department. “He successfully balanced a busy academic schedule with his commitment to TFC while playing for our team. This year provided a unique opportunity for Kristjan to play alongside his brother Tim, who also is committed to TFC, and combined with a stellar lineup, brought SMCS our first CISAA senior soccer championship.”
On his SMCS athletics experience, Fortier adds, “I’ve also always tried to play school soccer and on other teams when I can. At SMCS, I’ve played on the basketball team (Grade 8) and Ultimate and SMCS soccer teams.”
Outside of school, Fortier had the opportunity to play on several high-level soccer teams and travel to Europe to build on and improve his skills.
“I’ve played with great developmental programmes, such as Canada First Academy (CFA), which has great development coaches and where I was lucky enough to go to Germany every year to train with top German academies (including Bayern Munich),” he says. “After CFA, I trained with Barca Academy in Toronto, where I was lucky enough to play tournaments in Spain, beating Barcelona’s Spanish Academy. Finally, I ended up at Toronto FC Academy, where I was exposed to and played with top-level soccer players and coaches in Canada and across North America.”
“Throughout the recruiting process, being able to say that I attend SMCS was very helpful, and it really caught the eye of many top schools in the United States. From an athletic standpoint, the administration, guidance counsellors, and teachers at St. Mike’s have all been very accommodating, from helping me rearrange my class schedule so I miss the least amount of school possible to the teachers making themselves available outside of school hours so I could catch up or get ahead on the school work.”
As Fortier completes his final year at SMCS, he gets set to join the Syracuse Orange in the fall of 2024, alongside fellow SMCS alumnus, Finlay Thomson ’21, who is currently in his second year on a lacrosse scholarship.