Marquette Wire

Kelly off to fast start

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Freshman Maegan Kelly is off to a fast start, earning Big East Rookie of the Week Aug. 30, and already registering two goals on the season.

Marquette’s freshman forward Maegan Kelly probably wouldn’t win many shouting matches.

But as she has proven in just eight collegiate games, the soft-spoken Kelly will be a force on Marquette’s offensive attack for years to come.

The younger sister of four-year letter-winner Katie Kelly, Maegan Kelly burst onto the soccer scene early this fall, achieving Big East Rookie of the Week on Aug. 30, following her performance in the Milwaukee Cup.

Kelly scored her first collegiate goal in the Golden Eagles’ 3-0 win over Auburn and then proceeded to tally the game winner in a 1-0 victory against California-Santa Barbara on Sept. 5.

Kelly was humbled and honored by being named rookie of the week.

“I was really surprised when my coaches told me that out of all the players in the Big East, that I was the best that week, at least for freshmen,” Kelly said. “It helps me know that I should be out there and that I’ve worked this hard to be able to play with the girls and compete with them.”

Kelly’s track record and genetics suggest she’s right where she belongs. Kelly, a Kansas City, Mo., native, earned first team all-state and Kansas City All-Metro accolades following her freshman, sophomore and senior seasons.

Kelly currently ranks second in St. Theresa Academy record books in goals scored in a single season, netting 39 as a sophomore.

Her sister Katie was a member of the Marquette women’s soccer team from 2005-’08.

Count teammate Kerry McBride, a junior midfielder, as one who isn’t surprised by Kelly’s great start.

“I think she is a hard worker, so it’s not surprising that she’s doing well, but it’s just exciting to see when new people on the team step up and it helps other people step up and make us better,” McBride said.

While Kelly became the toast of the Big East in a major way early on in her career, she still has some work to do to earn a coveted nickname from some of her elders.

“Some people acquire them later in the year, and some others get them later in the year,” McBride said. “She still has to work her way up to that.”

Kelly’s goals for herself and the season are very similar to the rest of the team’s: wanting to get as far as they can and, particularly, reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

“I remember when my sister’s team made it that far, and I’m hoping we can go further,” Kelly said. “It looked like a lot of fun, and I want to feel that, and hopefully we can.”

Marquette opens the Big East portion of its season with a game at South Florida Friday night, so it would be easy for a freshman to have some nerves when she takes the pitch.

But as the Big East and college soccer nationwide has seen so far this season, Kelly isn’t your average freshman.

“I’m excited because it’s a new part of the season,” Kelly said. “The team knows that this is an important time, and hopefully we get more wins.

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