Maegan Kelly has had a collegiate career that few other players can relate to.
The senior midfielder has been a three-time Big East regular season champion, appeared in three NCAA tournaments, and is on the cusp of becoming the program’s all-time assist leader.
These accolades, however, are not the result of a single player or a select group of players. Team attitudes, tradition and cohesiveness have all played significant roles in Kelly’s development and the team’s success.
Kelly, with 30 career goals and 31 assists, is grateful for the lessons her teammates gave her when she first joined the squad, and she is prepared to be a teacher to the younger players this season.
“I’ve transformed on and off the field,” Kelly said. “It would probably have to do with my teammates and the older girls teaching me throughout the years what they’ve gone through. It’s kind of crazy to see how in three years you can change.”
“Looking back, I would want to see what the freshmen have done, so when they become seniors I want to see if our senior class has been able to instill in what we’ve learned from the past four years we’ve been here.”
Others can attest to Kelly’s willingness to be a helping hand. Senior midfielder Ashley Stemmeler believes it’s just Kelly’s nature.
“She is really good at taking girls under her wing,” Stemmeler said. “She’s so welcoming, and she’s been like that all four years she’s been here at Marquette. She’s always looking out for everyone on our team, especially the new girls. She will help them in any way and give advice all the time.”
Kelly, who is graduating in December, plans to enter the National Women’s Soccer League draft next season. Marquette women’s soccer coach Markus Roeders has seen her improve over the years and feels she could be a strong asset to teams after college.
“Maegan just needs to try to be Maegan,” Roeders said. “She has a lot of different qualities you want to have in a player on a successful team, as a leader, as a player, as a role model. The main thing for us coaches is to keep guiding her and keep giving her advice. She just needs to do what she is capable of doing.”
Kelly is three assists from becoming the team’s all-time leader. Stemmeler did not hesitate to credit that to Kelly’s selfless demeanor.
“Assists show that she is unselfish and is willing to do what it takes to win,” Stemmeler said. “It shows that she has great vision on the field and can make some great passes to put the team in a good spot to get goals.”
Kelly’s ability to not only pass but score as well has made her a target for defenders. Despite the pressure on the pitch, she will always get a vote of confidence from Roeders.
“Defenders play her a little bit harder and at the same time she’s still able to play her role,” Roeders said. “Maegan is a soccer player. She’s going to keep carrying on with what she’s done trying to play the game the best she can, be a team player and be versatile as well.”
Kelly may appear stern and serious in her in-game mode, but she wants others to know that her time in a Marquette uniform is running short and that she simply wants to savor her final season.
“I do like to bring energy, I do like to have fun,” Kelly said. “I step out on the field and I enjoy myself while I’m playing. It’s not too hard to be loud and energetic.”