After scoring her first collegiate soccer goal in the 44th minute of the match against Coastal Carolina, two-sport athlete Grace Mirly’s story began to unfold.
In high school, Mirly found herself involved in every sport she could play, including softball, soccer, volleyball and basketball. When deciding what sport she would take up in college, she knew it was between soccer and softball.
“I narrowed it down to soccer and softball because I knew I didn’t want to be stuck inside,” said Mirly in an interview with the Tropolitan.
After starting to play with a well-respected travel ball team, the logistics favored softball. Mirly came to Troy University as a member of the Trojan softball team. Even though she saw playing time with the softball, Maddie Brune, a former high school teammate and member of the Troy soccer team, and Mirly still talked about what it would be like to play college soccer together.
After talking to both the softball and soccer coaches, Mirly hit the pitch for a few spring practices with the soccer team to test her skills. Both coaches agreed that playing with both teams was doable and Ged O’Connor, the soccer coach, offered Mirly a spot on the roster for the 2018 season.
In the match versus Coastal Carolina, teammate Karina Valeriano set up Mirly for her first career goal.
“When Rina (Valeriano) put that ball in, I was going to be there to back her up,” Mirly said. “I was at the right place in the right time.
“I was glad to be able to put my team on the board.”
Valeriano’s shot hit the crossbar of the goal post, but no one was around Mirly, allowing her to find the back of the net.
After taking a year off from soccer, Mirly admits the transition has been tough.
“There was a lot of rust I had to knock off,” Mirly said. “The coaches have been great; my teammates have been great with pushing me back to my level.
“Through practice and training it is starting to come back, and I am ready to contribute to the soccer team.”
Directly following the end of soccer season, Mirly will hit the field with the softball team looking to catch up and play another season.