It’s almost Fall, which means one thing at Marquette Catholic High School: soccer season.
Marquette’s girls’ soccer team is starting out this season with a new coach, Wil Cogdill. He’s not new to coaching since he started in 2003 as an assistant coach for a United Soccer Club.
Marquette athletic director Katie Collignon said, “Wil demonstrates a number of qualities that we seek in leading our student-athletes. His experience and personality make him a great fit for one of our most competitive programs.”
One of the players on the team, defender Summer Johnson, added, “He is really helping us improve. He doesn’t yell; he is always very calm.”
The girls’ season so far has consisted of ten games, three of which they lost and seven which they won.
Junior midfielder Kass Loza says, “We have a very well-rounded team. We plan on doing very well this season. We are the underdogs so we want to prove a lot of people wrong.”
They are very close as a team.
Claire Salyer, who plays as a midfielder or forward, says, “I like goofing around with my team and being friends with everyone. I like how much potential our team has, especially with the new freshmen.”
One of the freshmen, Paige Pizarek, talks about practice, “I really enjoy practice, it is a great way for me to get my mind off school for a bit.” The girls on the team work hard and are dedicated to the sport they love.
One of those dedicated soccer players is Mackenzie Bardol. Mackenzie is a senior at Marquette and has been playing soccer since she was in the third grade, but took a hiatus after sixth grade to then return her sophomore year. Although she didn’t really watch soccer when she was a child, she does remember when her dad brought her home a jersey signed by the famous American soccer player Mia Hamm. While her dad was telling her who Hamm was, Mackenzie’s interest in soccer was sparked.
She thought that Hamm was really awesome and admired how much she had accomplished as a player. You’d think that Mackenzie’s inspiration for playing would be the professional soccer player but in reality, it’s her teammates.
She said, “Some of the girls on the MQTT team are so good that they have inspired me to always work hard and want to become better.”
But Mackenzie isn’t just a one-sport girl. In addition to playing soccer, she also plays tennis, which helps her with the hand-eye coordination part of soccer. How does she manage to stay focused?
She said, “I am so busy all the time that I don’t have time to lose track of what I need to be doing.”
Mackenzie has learned through her many years of playing soccer to always work hard and to stay true to yourself, values, and goals. Her advice to younger players is to not be discouraged, even if they have never played soccer before and to work harder than the day before.
Someone else who knows all about the soccer team is Mr. Austin Cogdill, a first-year teacher at Marquette and also an assistant coach for the Marquette girls’ soccer team.
This is Mr. Cogdill’s first year, and he is pumped.
“I am absolutely, very excited to be a teacher this year,” said Gogdill.
The reason why he wanted to be a teacher is a funny story. For his senior year of high school, he was voted most likely to become a teacher. At the time it was very random and kind of funny, but when Mr. Cogdill went to college, he decided he was going to have a go at teaching. He ended up at Ball State University for teaching, and it became his passion.
This year at Marquette, Mr. Cogdill is teaching World Religions, Current Events, and the Mission of Jesus Christ. He is most excited about teaching the Mission of Jesus Christ because he thinks it is important to understand the morals of Jesus’ life, hear everyone’s different sides, and have guest speakers come and share their ideas. Mr. Cogdill is also excited for this year’s soccer season since it’s going so well. He says that even though they may have lost a few games, the ones they lost were often the ones they played the best in, even though the score may not reflect that. He is very proud of the girls; the team is strong this year and only going to get better.
Mr. Cogdill himself played soccer nonstop from age 4 to 18, took a break during college, and then got back into coaching. The team’s goal for this season is to get as far into the state tournament as they can, at the very least regionals, which is something he thinks they can definitely do.
What’s coming up?
Come out and support the Lady Blazers. Their schedule is as follows:
- 9/13 @ Home vs. Bishop Noll Institute @ 5pm
- 9/16 @ Westville High School @ 11am
- 9/18 @ Hammond Clark High School @ 7pm
- 9/20 @ Griffith Senior High School @ 5pm
- 9/21 @ Home vs. Michigan City High School @ 4:30pm
- 9/23 @ LaLumiere High School @ 10am
- 9/26 @ Home vs. Morgan Township High School @ 4:30pm
One of these nights is extremely special: senior night. Senior night is September 26 at home vs. Morgan Township at 4:30 pm. There are eight seniors on the team. One of them, Stacey Barron, a striker/forward, is the captain of the team. She says, “I am sad for it to be my last season at Marquette, but at the same time I am excited to see what the future brings me. I really had to step up and be a leader. Being a senior and realizing what I’m doing for the freshmen or underclassmen who will fill my shoes as a captain is great.”
Michaela Jennings, also a senior, who plays center mid, shares Stacey’s thoughts.
She said “It’s really cool to be a senior and to see girls look up to you, but I’m sad for the season to end. I’m excited for what the future has to hold for me.”