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Pfeiffer finds consistency in final season

Pfeiffer+is+the+only+forward+to+start+in+every+game+this+season.
Pfeiffer is the only forward to start in every game this season.

Pfeiffer is the only forward to start in every game this season.

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Pfeiffer is the only forward to start in every game this season.

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Molly Pfeiffer’s gigantic smile is hard to miss even from across the field. It’s not an unusual sight for the Marquette women’s soccer forward.

You rarely find a fierce competitor with a less-intimidating nickname than “Jolly Molly.”

“She’s just kind of a blue collar with a smile-type attitude,” head coach Markus Roeders said. “She wants to score, obviously she loves to score, she does it with a big smile.”

Pfeiffer has become one of Marquette’s most reliable scorers as a redshirt junior.

She sat out her freshman year with an injury and appeared in 11 games the next season. Last year she scored three goals in the first five games of the season, but failed to score again for the rest of the season.

“It’s definitely been a long journey from coming in freshman year, completely hurt after I tore my ACL,” Pfeiffer said. “Sophomore year was kind of just getting back into it, like this is my first college soccer experience.”

“Junior year I was obviously able to contribute minutes, but I obviously didn’t have that starting spot or didn’t have the consistency. …  I started off really well and then once I got into conference I didn’t really score or anything.”

This year she’s found consistency, Pfeiffer is the team’s leading scorer this season with four goals and three assists. She’s also the only forward on the team to start in every single game.

“It’s a really good feeling,” Pfeiffer said. “But even better that it’s helped us win as a team.”

Her head coach attributes her previous struggles to her injury history.

“She’s a little bit healthier,” Roeders said. “Obviously she had the first few years where she wasn’t really healthy and she’s just become a threat.”

Pfeiffer is most dangerous when charging in on set pieces. She’s scored three of her four goals this season finishing off crosses from corner and free kicks. Despite playing alongside Morgan Proffitt, one of the most aerially threatening and talented players in college soccer, Pfeiffer is a top target on free kicks.

“When it comes to set pieces, or corners specifically, I think we’re always dangerous,” Roeders said. “Molly and Mo are in the mix. Those are the two. There’s not one like one is the main one and one is the second choice, no, they’re both heavily in the mix.”

Despite her status as a redshirt junior, this is Pfeiffer’s final season of college soccer. It was a tough decision for her to give up a final year of play, but she says it’s the right decision for her.

“I’m definitely looking forward to experiencing things I didn’t get to experience as a college athlete,” Pfeiffer said.

Next semester she’s taking advantage of the freedom and time she’ll have with no commitment to the soccer team.

As an exercise physiology major, Pfeiffer has to do a one-semester internship program. She’s headed to Stanford in the spring to fulfill that requirement. It’s a unique professional opportunity for a student athlete whose time at Marquette has been dominated by the athlete part.

How will she adapt to life without competitive soccer for the first time since high school? Throwing herself into a career-building venture.

“For me, going out to California and having my own adventure. … and really dedicating myself to learning that professional experience,” Pfeiffer said.

Her interest in physical therapy came from her own experience rehabbing from injury.

“I tore my first ACL in seventh grade,” Pfeiffer said. “I immediately fell in love with my physical therapist and I had a great recovery process and I was like, ‘I want to do PT.’”

Pfeiffer’s path is about to change, but for the rest of this semester, she’ll be working hard to compete for a BIG EAST title with her teammates.

“We’re going to take everything that she can give us and I know she’s going give us everything that she has,” Roeders said. “It’s just a lot of fun to be around her.”

Pfeiffer’s contributions on the field have been massive, but she learned from her father, a former collegiate baseball player, how to make an impact in the way she lives off the field.

“His big thing was enjoying your time,” Pfeiffer said. “School is obviously really important, and that’s been something that’s been important to me forever, but he was big on just like enjoying the time you have with the sport that you love, playing it with the people you love. … Everyone loves him and everyone loves being around him and that’s the type of person I wanted to be.”

“I’ve always kind of been that upbeat positive person, smiling all the time.”

Pfeiffer’s soccer career is coming to an end, but there’s no doubt she’ll keep finding things to smile about.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Pfeiffer finds consistency in final season”

  1. Beth Ford on October 6th, 2016 9:31 pm

    Go Molly! Barrington is so proud of you!

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