Junior forward follows new path to field


Nik Cunningham, Sports Editor

Maggie Winter grew up in a family that didn’t play sports, she started playing soccer simply because she wanted to.

“I originally started playing when I went to kindergarten,” Winter said. “I think I just wanted to try something different. I have two older siblings and neither of them played sports and neither of my parents played sports and so I was the first one in my family.”

Winter, a junior mathematics major from St. Louis, Missouri, will be one of the soccer captains in the 2020-21 women’s soccer season.

“Since I got to USI, the biggest thing that gets me motivated to go to practice and to keep going in the games and everything has to be all my teammates,” Winter said. “My best friends are here at USI and I would not be on the team if it wasn’t for them. We truly have a family on the field and off the field, and they’re just an amazing group of people.”

Winter knew getting onto the team at USI would be difficult. She said she was nervous about not only getting onto the team but also playing on it, since she was transitioning from midfield to forward.

“Maggie has grown tremendously as a player and an individual,” said Eric Schoenstein, women’s soccer team head coach. “She came in and she was just like all freshman, a little timid, a little shy, and now she’s a team leader, on the ball, on the field, off the field. Her maturity and her ability as a player has grown in leaps and bounds in the last three years.”

Schoenstein said Winter had amazing leadership skills and is someone who is easy to talk to. She is someone the team can rely on through thick and thin.

“Maggie Winter has had a great career here at USI,” Schoenstein said. “She’s obviously one of the top 10 (in) scoring, she works her tail off every spring, summer, fall season. She’s a great asset to the program and we’re really excited that she is part of the USI soccer family.”

Winter said if there was one thing that she could tell herself in highschool would be to not get discouraged and to keep trying. She said playing college in college has been the most rewarding experience she’s had because it has given her so many opportunities she never thought she would have.

Winter said she wouldn’t have been able to get this far if not for the team and the amount of effort each one gives to their games and practices. “You want to win and you have to work together,” Winter said. “I think it teaches you a lot of good lessons for later on in life about drive, determination, team building and teamwork. So it’s just a great experience for anyone in their life.”