Maggie Howard checked the team’s Web site and saw her name on the roster.
She’ll be No. 6 as a 5-foot-8 defender – and she’s going to be playing Division I soccer.
The former Richmond Academy girls soccer player, a 2013 graduate, stood out at a camp and jumped at the chance to be on Georgia Southern’s roster for the upcoming season.
“I’m thrilled. I’m really excited for this opportunity, especially because it’s so late in the game,” Howard said. “Everything happened so quickly. But it’s starting to feel more legitimate every day.”
In her four-year high school career, Howard scored 62 goals and had 49 assists. An All-Area selection, Howard also played club soccer for the Augusta Arsenal.
Originally, Howard planned on walking on to the University of Georgia soccer team, but there were brighter prospects. At a Georgia Southern-led soccer camp, Howard was spotted by Eagles boys soccer coach Kevin Kennedy. Women’s coach Brian Dunleavy received a call about Howard and watched her in person the next day.
Fast forward to today, and Howard has been accepted into Georgia Southern and has a spot on the roster.
“We’re very excited to have someone join us this late in the process, particularly because she has a high upside,” Dunleavy said. “We’re lucky to get somebody this late in the game right in our own backyard.”
Though Howard starred at midfield in high school, Dunleavy will put her at outside back. He wants a defender with the ability to step forward in the attack, and he thinks Howard has good decision-making with passing and the solid first touch to succeed.
Everyone involved, from Howard to her coaches, are pleased with how quickly everything came together.
“She’s just a great kid and a hard worker,” Richmond Academy coach Kevin Scheyer said. “I think awesome things are going to happen.”