Cromwell High School senior Mary Kate Sullivan will soon be jetting off to The Hoosier State to get an early jump on the next phase of her soccer journey.
Later this month, Sullivan will be graduating early from CHS and will begin attending Indiana University as a mid-year student in early January as she continues her academic and athletic career.
Sullivan called her decision to attend the university in Bloomington “a gut feeling.”
“I knew it was the place for me. I met the coaches and the players on the team and the campus itself I loved,” added Sullivan. “Everything fit into place. I knew it was where I wanted to be.”
Playing Division I soccer at a Power Five Conferences is the payoff for Sullivan’s dedication to a sport that has been a major
part of her life for nearly 15 years.
At three years old, Sullivan first started playing soccer at a camp in Newington before participating in various youth
programs in both Cromwell and Middletown. In the eighth grade she joined the development academy at Oakwood Soccer Club, where she would spend the next five years.
Sullivan also tried her hand at basketball and cross-country before ultimately deciding that soccer was her chosen path.
“It ended up that soccer was what I loved and continue to love,” said Sullivan, who added that she was encouraged by her parents to try a variety of sports growing up. “I wasn’t focused on playing [soccer] in college. I focused on having fun and doing the fundamental things right. The bigger stuff will always come. That’s how I think.”
Her time at Oakwood, a highly-competitive club based out of Glastonbury, helped both her development as a player and person.
This summer, she was a captain on Oakwood’s U17 team that made history by capturing a National Championship in the Girls Academy League.
Oakwood coach Chris Mogavero was impressed with Sullivan’s versatility and ability to play just as hard from the first whistle to the final one, adding, “She’s got a great engine; she goes as hard as she can all the time.”
“Mary Kate does a lot of the dirty work defensively as a forward as far as tackling and winning the ball and pressuring opponents.” added Mogavero. “She was a great captain and a great leader.”
Sullivan said Oakwood fueled her passion for soccer and her desire to travel, recalling the joy of her initial trips to the West Coast with the club in eighth grade.
At her next destination she’ll get even more chances to travel, joining a Hoosiers team that plays in the Big Ten Conference and plays all over the country.
For someone that comes from a small town, the opportunity to expand her horizon is one of the things that Sullivan looks forward to the most.
“It will definitely be a transition but I have always been very independent,” said Sullivan, who was part of National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and World Language Club at CHS. “I’m excited to take on that challenge and try something new. I want to see all these other places, see other college campuses, and meet new people.”
Sullivan said it will be bittersweet to leave the confines of Cromwell where she has gone to school with the same kids since they were toddlers, adding, “I’m really going to miss all the relationships that I have made at Cromwell.”
The one constant that will follow her to Indiana will be soccer, and Sullivan is grateful for that.
“I honestly don’t know what I would be without soccer. It has brought me so many friendships and the relationships I have from soccer are lifelong,” added Sullivan. “It has shaped me to be who I am today and I am so lucky that I get to continue playing.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin