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Glocester's McKenzie Meehan, shown in action last season with the Boston College women's soccer team, was selected in the fourth round (with the 34th overall pick) of this year's NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) Draft by the Sky Blue FC of New Jersey.
Glocester resident joins league after enjoying superb career with Boston College women's soccer team
GLOCESTER – After graduating from Boston College last December with an economics degree and an MBA in finance, Glocester native McKenzie Meehan was drafted in the fourth round of the National Women’s Soccer League by the Sky Blue Football Club in New Jersey.
Meehan, a forward, was selected 34th overall and was happy to still be playing soccer close to home.
“I was extremely excited,” she said about being drafted. “I didn’t know where I was going to go but I’m happy with Sky Blue. I have family in New York and New Jersey. I’m excited to start my professional career with that team.”
She added that she did not have a specific team in mind when she found out she was being drafted, but said that she was pretty open since it was far out of her control. She just wanted to get the opportunity to go to a team.
Meehan started her soccer career like most young girls, for fun as part of a recreational league.
“I’d say when I was really little, I played for the fun of it,” she said. “As the years passed and I got better, that motivated me more to do it.”
She started out playing in the Smithfield Youth Soccer Association, and from there, joined the Ponaganset Middle School girls' soccer team. As her skills improved and she got more serious, she played on club teams throughout New England and eventually joined the Scorpions Soccer Club team in Braintree, Mass. Playing on this elite club against elite teams got her noticed by college coaches, which led her to Boston College.
Before she attended BC, she went to La Salle Academy and was part of La Salle’s run of four straight state championships, as well as a record of 76-0-7. In all, she finished her high school career with 181 goals.
She graduated in 2012 and then continued her academic and athletic careers at BC, first going for economics and then staying for her MBA, all the while racking up records for the Eagles' women’s soccer team.
“It was a lot of fun,” Meehan said about her experiences playing for the Eagles. “It was definitely competitive playing in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference). Every game was a challenge.”
She started six games as a freshman, but her most memorable year was her sophomore one in 2013. She said that her team that season was really close and she made some great friends while learning and developing as a player.
“Each year had its ups and downs,” she said. “I sat out my junior year with an Achilles injury. But as a sophomore, I was still young and there was no pressure. I could go have fun and I was one of many good players.”
That year, the Eagles made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament and Meehan scored her first career hat trick in a game at Hofstra. She was selected as a member of the United Stated U-20 National Team in the CONCACAF Championship and was the co-Golden Boot Winner. She had led the team and the ACC in goals and game-winning goals. She had a single-season program record of 20 goals, nine of those being game-winners.
As a senior last fall, she was named to the All-ACC first team and started all 18 games. She led the team in four categories, including goals, points, shots, and shots on goal. She finished her B.C. career as the all-time leader in points, goals, and game-winning goals. She scored 58 goals and compiled 124 points.
“It’s not something I would have imagined,” Meehan said about all her accomplishments at BC. “I’m honored. There are so many great players there. This is a reflection on the program.”
Meehan is coming off a broken ankle from the fall season, so she is not sure if she will be starting for the Sky Blue when their season kicks off on Saturday, April 15, but she's no stranger to New Jersey.
“It’s good,” she said. “I’ve actually played a lot down here in tournaments growing up. It’s definitely different."
Having started her career in recreational soccer and moving all the way up to the professionals, Meehan enjoys each new level of competition and intensity.
“It’s really great,” she said. “It’s definitely a higher level of intensity. You practice at 100 percent to challenge everybody so everyone can get better. And the girls have been welcoming. It seems like a great team.”
Meehan does not yet know her role on the team, but said she just wants to contribute on or off the field while continuing to grow and develop. She added that there is still a lot of the unknown.
The season runs until the end of September, while the playoffs are in October. She said she didn’t really have any role models until coming to her team. She said that the whole national team grew as role models, and being a role model herself, she imparts some wisdom to young girls interested in going places with soccer.
“Take it one step at a time,” Meehan said. “Always believe in yourself. It might seem far away now but you can achieve anything that you put your mind to.”
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We are sorry to announce that Michael Needham will be moving on from working with our coaches and teams. Mike has taken a coaching position at Ohio State University, effective immediately. The board will look into a replacement and if the right person is found all coaches and players should benefit from his/her training.