When girls’ soccer teams went up against Burlington-Edison this season, they had to make sure to locate and mark the player wearing No. 2.
That was the jersey worn by Moira MacKay, the forward responsible for 36 goals this season — six off the school record of 42 set by Edie Breckenridge in 2014.
For her efforts on a Burlington-Edison squad that finished 18-5-1 and was fourth at the Class 2A State Tournament, MacKay has been named the Skagit Valley Herald Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year.
“This season, we got far farther than I expected,” MacKay said. “We really improved as a team ... It was a lot of fun, one of my favorite years of soccer.”
That’s saying something seeing as how MacKay has been playing since she was 5.
The junior was a thorn in the sides of defenses all season.
With a lethal combination of speed and accuracy, MacKay scored time and time again while earning Northwest Conference Offensive MVP accolades.
“I’m fast,” she said. “That helps a lot. Plus, I’m able to disguise what I want to do pretty well.”
MacKay has a knack for lulling defenses to sleep, then breaking into a full sprint. After getting the ball, she can put it away with either foot.
“My right foot is stronger, but I will shoot with my left if I have to,” she said.
MacKay’s junior season saw her continue to evolve as a soccer player.
In her third varsity season, she said she improved her ability to go one-one-one with an opposing player as well as her shooting.
It showed time and time again.
“My techniques got better,” MacKay said. “In 1-v-1, I knew when to do a skill and when to go ahead and make a pass. When it came to shooting, I went back to the basics. I made sure I was settled and controlled when I took the shot.
“Scoring, that’s my job. And I got a lot of help from the midfield. They were great. We had great chemistry and the team really clicked. People were in the right spots. We all stuck together, had each other’s backs and really bonded.”
When she’s not busy maintaining her 3.70 grade-point average, MacKay enjoys singing and reading. She used to play basketball and still runs track for the Tigers.
“I like to sing, and I read a lot,” she said. “I also like photography, with my phone since I don’t have enough money for a real camera.”
Next season, MacKay is likely to be the lone senior on the Tigers roster.
“Next year, everyone will have to step up even more,” she said. “We are losing a huge group of seniors. I’m both excited and nervous. It’s going to be a lot different.”
But soccer is soccer.
“It’s such a fun sport,” she said. “I love it.”