Sports

St. Mary’s Mackey hopes to elevate her game in junior season

Morgan Mackey (right) enters her junior season at St. Mary's. (Item File Photo)

LYNN — For the last two seasons Morgan Mackey has been outstanding for the St. Mary’s girls soccer team at the sweeper position, and she has earned the accolades to prove it. Mackey, a Salem resident, was named an Eastern Massachusetts All-Star her freshman and sophomore years.

But as the best athletes often do, the early success Mackey has earned motivates her to continue elevating her game. Now entering her junior season this fall, Mackey’s looking to become a defensive leader for the Spartans.

“I want to improve on communication,” Mackey said. “I’m in the back so I really want to control the field this year and be there for everyone, telling them who their mark is and making sure everyone knows what they’re doing.

“If anyone ever has any questions I want them to be able to come to me for help.”

Mackey and the Spartans have high goals for the 2018 campaign after falling short last year in the Division 4 North state tournament. St. Mary’s finished with a record of 9-7-3, qualifying for the state tournament in its last game of the regular season.

Injuries took their tolls on the Spartans but the team did its best to work its way through the challenges.

“Last season we had a really good program with some really strong players,” Mackey said. “It was hard when our starting midfielder Mia [Nikolakopoulos] got hurt and we had to find someone to fill that position. A lot of the younger girls stepped up and they did really well and I’m hoping we do the same thing this year.”

After watching talented St. Mary’s teams succeed in recent seasons, Mackey hopes the Spartans can build on their success from last season with this year’s young and talented roster.

“When I was going into ninth grade, that team was so strong, and I just want us to perform like they did,” Mackey said. “We do have a lot of young players and returning players so I’m hoping that everyone can just do their job and step up. We have a lot of young starters like Eliza Brown and Adri Bowker our goalies, they’ve done a great job stepping up to the plate in their first year.”

“I hope we clinch a tournament spot before the last game of the season, which I think we will be able to do with our talent,” Mackey added.

Spartans head coach Jim Foley said Mackey is one of the best players he’s ever coached and is excited to have her leading St. Mary’s defense this year.

“Ever since she’s been here as a freshman she has been a starter. She’s a two-time All-Star, not just in the CCL but an Eastern Mass All-Star as well,” Foley said. “That tells you how good she has been. In my opinion she’s probably one of the best sweepers in the North Shore. I would say in the top five definitely.

“She’s a great kid very coachable,” Foley said. “Players look up to her and she leads by example. She’s almost like a field general out there for our defense. She’s one of the best players I’ve ever coached but she’s an even better person, and a great student-athlete.”

With high hopes for the season aside, Mackey’s number one concern is to see her team play to

its potential.

“I would really love to go farther in the tournament than we did last year,” Mackey said. “Overall I’m just hoping that as a team we work as hard as we can and go far.”

More Stories From Lynn