Women’s Soccer: Rookie shines for Bulldogs

One could argue that no single player has had as much of an impact on his or her team this fall at Butler than freshman midfielder Sophie Maccagnone has had on the women’s soccer team.

Maccagnone currently leads the team with seven goals and has started in all 11 matches for the Bulldogs so far this season.

She was named Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Rookie of the Week two consecutive times in September.

Maccagnone’s confidence is what coach Tari St. John said sets her apart from other freshmen.

“You often have talented freshmen, but sometimes they don’t have the confidence to step up and take such an impactful role as a freshman,” St. John said. “But Sophie has the right attitude—the confidence, combined with her ability—that I think she was ready to make an impact right from the get-go.”

Maccagnone said the confidence that her teammates exuded when she began practicing with the team was apparent to her.

“They were really welcoming, and everyone was confident, and their confidence kind of came off to me,” Maccagnone said. “Like seeing when they wanted me to take penalty kicks, they obviously had confidence in me.”

Senior defender Claire Milam said Maccagnone has been a reliable teammate and has handled criticism well from her teammates and coaches.

“A lot of times in women’s sports, it’s hard for teammates to criticize each other, but I think that she both takes criticism well and gives it out gracefully,” Milam said. “She’s a good teammate in that she holds people responsible, but she also holds herself responsible.”

Maccagnone also has had to deal with the normal issues involving the transition to college life outside of soccer, but she said she is making the adjustment well.

“It’s a little exhausting at first, but obviously with study tables, that helps a lot because you get all your work done,” Maccagnone said.  “You’ve just really got to have time management, and that’s what my coaches and teammates have really been emphasizing.”

St. John said that Maccagnone stays levelheaded in spite of all the attention that comes with her goal-scoring prowess.

“The really unique part with someone that is as talented as Sophie is she is one of the most humble people I know,” St. John said. “She really feels that scoring goals is just part of her role, just as for someone else, winning balls in the air or defending is their role.

“This is how she can serve her team, and I think that’s what you have with a kid like Sophie. She just wants to serve her team well.”

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