In her fifth year Magee leads Owls to success
Sam Tapper — Sports Writer
Athletes are largely judged by their performance on the field, but their work behind the scenes can be forgotten. Yet for women’s soccer captain Mikaela Magee, her work off the field has helped shape her abilities on the field.
Magee, born in Bronx, N.Y., came to Southern from New Fairfield, Conn. Her love for the game of soccer started at a very young age, but she said it was her mother who originally “forced” her out onto the soccer field as a child.
“My mom wanted to get me involved in sports so the first sport when we moved up here was soccer,” she said. “It’s funny to think about now, because if I didn’t go out on that soccer field I don’t even know if I would be here today.”
From that point, Magee would begin pursuing soccer. As a result, she ended up having a lot of high school success. She was an Honorable Mention All-League pick, a captain for two years and was given the “Players’ Player” award during her senior year.
“I really thought the ‘Players’ Player award – it meant a lot to me because my teammates voted for it,” said Magee. “We had some guidelines, hardworking, stuff like that, but it meant a lot that my teammates saw me that way. I really appreciated that award when I got it.”
Coming out of high school, Magee had a tough decision looming – where was she going to play college soccer? She had fielded multiple offers from different schools, but said she was ultimately drawn to Southern because of the team environment in addition to the academics.
“Southern is a great school that was close to home. It had the major that I was looking into: exercise science,” said Magee of her final decision. “Ultimately the team was really talented, I’d come to a couple of games, I liked the coaching staff and all of that together just made Southern the right fit for me.”
Magee is currently a graduate student and has been at Southern for five years now. She finished out her fourth year with a lot of uncertainty as she still had one remaining year of eligibility left, but contemplated utilizing it.
“[Magee] played her last game last year and she was a senior. She did have a year of eligibility left, but I think at that point in time she was done,” said head coach Adam Cohen. “And then she took a step back, realized, ‘Wait I do have another year of eligibility. I can come back as a graduate student and play one more year’ and she did it. I’m grateful and proud.”
With it being her fifth year on the team, it is also her third year serving as one of the team’s captains. Magee has been recognized for her work in the classroom as well as her leadership skills on and off the field – all contributing factors to Cohen’s decision to make her captain.
“Mikaela started to personify our core values in our program,” said Cohen on his decision. “So, when we were looking for somebody that we could trust and that we knew could lead the team behind the scenes, she was the name that rose to the top. Over her three years as captain, she has developed into one of the most influential people we’ve ever had at Southern.”
Magee finished the 2018 season with one goal while averaging 0.53 shots-pergame and 0.11 pointsper-game. Though the stats may not jump off the page, Coach Cohen talked about Magee “leading by example” through everything she does. “Basically, everything she does is a good example of leadership,” said her teammate and senior Kelly Lamb.
“She always is doing the right thing, always working hard, always putting in her full effort and getting everybody together to kind of benefit the whole team.”
As Magee’s career draws to an official close at the conclusion of this season, she still feels that there is more to be accomplished.
“I think we have a really great team this year,” said Magee. “We’re returning everybody, we have great team chemistry. I think ultimately the best thing that could happen is to win a championship.”