When Maggie Rogers ’23 started playing soccer at the YMCA as a child, her first coach would check in with her before every season to ask “Are you still having fun?” Her coach was a former DI soccer player who wanted to make sure Maggie knew she always had the option to switch things up and try something new.
That first coach was Maggie’s mom, Christina Rogers.
Christina, who played collegiate soccer at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, says, “I wanted her to know there was never an expectation for her to play soccer, but she just loves playing the game.”
Like most athletes, Maggie spent her early years bouncing between different sports – she did karate and church basketball for years, but soccer always brought her the most joy. Maggie describes herself as an overly energetic kid and says soccer gave her the “best outlet” for that energy. Over the years, soccer has become a place to rest from the other responsibilities of life and allowed her to become friends with girls outside of her daily circle of people. At the age of 8, Maggie went all in with soccer, started playing at Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) and has never looked back.
For the past four years, Maggie has split her time playing soccer for CESA and CCES. Her roles on the two teams are different, but both have taught her a lot and helped her develop as a person. Overall, playing soccer has helped her grow as a communicator – both with others on the field and in learning to advocate for herself off the field.
With CESA, Maggie calls herself an “integral player, but not the best by any means.” However, she cherishes the opportunities it’s given her, to be surrounded by players who push her to improve her technical skills and trying to be the best teammate possible so “the team can be the best it can be.”
For the Cavaliers, Maggie has taken on a more direct leadership position, being named captain her junior and senior seasons. She good-naturedly admits that when she first started last year as captain, she didn’t quite understand what it took to be a good leader. She focused on being vocal on the field and leading through example, but with the encouragement of a friend who was also a junior captain, Maggie wanted to support her teammates off the field as well. She says, “I want to be a good team player, and I want my team to know they have always have a shoulder to lean on.”
Ashley Seeley, Head Coach of Varsity Girls Soccer, calls Maggie “one of the hardest working players I have ever coached.” She describes Maggie’s leadership, work ethic, and positive energy as something that sets her apart from most athletes. Coach Seeley says, “Maggie gives 110% every time she is on the field. She is a born leader and she will be missed in so many ways.”
Like her mom, Maggie will head up to New England after graduation and continue to play soccer at the collegiate level. However, Maggie is finding room to chart her own path, choosing Tufts University in Massachusetts.
When Maggie looks back at her college recruiting process, she calls it “really difficult, and yet really easy.” In the sport of soccer, players are faced with a number of big decisions early in high school as they start to narrow down the types of programs they want to play for in college. For Maggie, the biggest priority was finding a school that would give her a “phenomenal education,” allowing for semesters abroad (to become more fluent in Spanish) and pursuing internships. This eliminated DI programs so Maggie shifted to looking at smaller DIII schools that could accommodate her academic needs while also providing an opportunity to play soccer.
Maggie flew to Tufts for a soccer camp on a last-minute whim. A delayed flight and hours of solo traveling later, Maggie arrived on campus for the camp. Even though she was late, Head Coach Martha Whiting, welcomed her by name, and Maggie knew instantly this community was something special. She is looking forward to being a part of a team that encourages players to be “confident in embracing what makes them all unique.”
Maggie hopes to pursue a future in medicine, thinking pediatrics might be a good fit given her love for working with kids. She is undecided as of right now, but figures she’ll end up majoring in Biology or Biopsychology. Maggie also plans to minor in Spanish and looks forward to studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country.
Over the years, soccer has been a constant in Maggie’s life, and it has been a way of bonding with her mom. The two have spent hundreds of hours in the car, traveling for tournaments and always on the hunt for fun restaurants in the different cities they visit. Maggie certainly does not take it for granted that her mom is one of her biggest supporters, but also the person that has always made sure Maggie does not feel pressured to continue playing. Maggie says, “She never wanted me to play a sport I didn’t love or made me feel like I needed to be the best. She made sure I wasn’t playing for anyone but myself, and that made me love it all the more.”
As a former collegiate soccer player, Christina knows the game and all the feelings that can come with playing. This shared interest and experience has allowed them to have all types of fun and interesting conversations while traveling. Christina says, “I will always treasure the time we have spent together traveling for soccer and look forward to watching her play in the future.”
As Maggie prepares to wrap up her final weeks at CCES, she remains thankful for her time here and all the relationships it has brought her, in the classroom and on the field. She has met some of her closest friends here and appreciates the teachers who have supported her in anything she does. Maggie and the rest of the CCES Girls Soccer team is competing hard in their regular season as they prepare for another run at State in May. Maggie has certainly made her mark on CCES during her time here, and we are confident she will do the same wherever she ends up in the future.