OP Player of the Month: Marni McMillan

Photo by Davie Wong
Photo by Davie Wong

Star striker for the Royals

By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter

Marni McMillan has easily been on of the most dominant players in the game of collegiate level women’s soccer. Her 9 goals in 15 games placed her tied with teammate Danae Harding at the top of the leaderboard. She caps off her season with a second Player of the Year award win, adding to the one she won last year, as well as being named a league All-Star.

For such an excellent player, one would think that Marni has been playing since she could walk, In reality, Marni did not actually start playing until much later than her peers. While many began at the ages of four and five, Marni didn’t actually play her first game until she was nine. With both her parents being professional swimmers, Marni also started with swimming, but made the full transition to soccer after she fell in love with game.

This season, Marni has contributed to the team in many other ways besides her talented striking. Her leadership on and off the field is evident amongst her teammates and her coaches.

Coach Chris Laxton commented, “Marni is the definition of an impact player. This year she has played several positions and has found a way to positively contribute no matter where she has played. She is tightly marked by all opposition teams and creates space for other players with her unselfish play. She also somehow still finds a way to score for us, despite being so tightly marked.

“We are happy for Marni on winning her second consecutive PACWEST Player of the Year Award. It is well-deserved.”

Co-captains Kelsey Acaster and Tiffany O’Krane also chimed in about the Player of The Year award winner.

“Marni is a reliable player who you can always count on to shine in critical moments. She encourages our team by playing at a high-intensity every practice and game. She uses her knowledge of the game to push people to be their best. Off the field, Marni lights up the room with her positive energy and animated humour. With this dynamic set of strengths, Marni is a leader, and a great example of a true Royal,” said Acaster.

O’Krane noted that, “On the field, Marni always has one goal and focus in mind; the team. She always wants the team to succeed. You will never once hear her say anything about her own individual success. In a heartbeat, she would give up everything for the team to succeed. She leads by example every time she steps onto the field by pushing her hardest. She will literally run until she cannot run anymore. People look up to her for her ability to keep going even when times are tough. She has a way of bringing the team back up when things start to get ugly… Teammates know they can rely on her for anything.”

McMillan has been the epitome of an excellent player. Her contributions to her team, on and off the field, have helped her team to a PACWEST Provincial Championship and a shot at the National crown.