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Mackenzie Smith: Student-athlete

In coming to Alma, Mackenzie Smith accomplished her dream of playing college soccer. Her Alma experience includes a double major in business and communication — and a seven-day tour of Barcelona with her soccer teammates.

Mackenzie SmithMackenzie SmithA weeklong trip to Spain in August 2014 helped kick off the fall season for the Alma College women’s soccer team. For team member Mackenzie Smith, the trip was the chance of a lifetime to experience a different culture while also competing against top teams from Spain.

“The highlights from Spain were being able to see the beautiful architecture from places such as Girona and Park Guell,” says Mackenzie, a senior from Saginaw. “My personal favorite was being able to see the unfinished cathedral in Barcelona that was started in the 1800s by an artist named Gaudi and isn’t expected to be done until 2026.

“Another highlight was being able to play the Spanish teams,” she says. “They were very good competition, and it was cool to be able to watch the Spanish style of play. We also got to experience the culture of Spain with the language and food and learn how to navigate and use the subways.”

The trip included visits to the 1992 Olympic village in Barcelona, a former bull-fighting arena now used for concerts and numerous cathedrals, and cultural sites.

“I knew when I came to Alma that an overseas trip was a possibility, but I didn’t know it was actually going to happen until the middle of my junior year,” she says. “When I found out it was going to be Spain, I was really excited because I had never been there before.”

Teams exchange gifts in Spain.Teams exchange gifts in Spain.

Academically, Mackenzie is double majoring in business and communication and plans to pursue a career in marketing following graduation. She also is involved in Alma’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“I like Alma because of the small class sizes,” she says. “I went to a small high school, so I knew I wanted to go to a small college. I like how the professors all know my name instead of being at a big college where I would feel invisible and wouldn’t be able to have the one-on-one conversations with the faculty like I do at Alma.

“Also, I got to accomplish my dream of playing college soccer. Not only did I get to play four more years of the game I love, I came into a successful program and met my best friends along the way.”


Story published on August 20, 2014