Family, teammates, friends and coaches filled the McAuley Center gym stage once again on Friday, April 12, to celebrate another member of the Soccer Belles for committing to play at the collegiate level. Mallory Howard ’19 made official her intent to join the Lady Mustangs at Central Baptist College (CBC) in Conway this fall.
Mallory began playing soccer when she was just 4 years old. She has competed at the club level since then – most recently with Arkansas United, formerly Little Rock Futbol Club (LRFC) – and played high school soccer for the Belles during all four years at Mount. She earned All Conference honors her junior year and was also the recipient of the Passionate Athlete Award for her dedication to the sport and her teammates.
“I have loved playing at Mount,” Mallory, whose favorite memory is winning the first game in the state tournament last year, said. “It has allowed me to come together with all the different girls I’ve played with and against throughout the years. Mount sports have definitely provided me with life-long friends and family.”
The 5-foot-3-inch midfielder also credits her involvement in the sport with giving her the perseverance to overcome challenges both on and off the field. “Soccer has taught me to push through whatever life throws at me,” Mallory said. “Being told I’m ‘too small’ for sports really motivated me to work as hard as I can in every aspect of the game as well as in my life. Throughout many injuries, I have worked hard to come back stronger than before, which I’ve learned to do any time life throws me a curveball.”
Those around her are quick to recognize Mallory’s determination, as well. “Mallory is a huge asset to our team. She’s feisty, extremely talented and always gives 110%,” MSM Soccer Coach Stephanie Boccarossa said. “What makes her unique is that she has as much heart as she does talent. She will fight as hard as she can, even if it’s against a girl twice her size.”
Chris Murphy, director of soccer operations and head women’s soccer coach at CBC, agreed. “When I coached Mallory as a youth player, I noticed immediately that she possessed a grit and tenacity that far exceeded most her peers, and a maturity as well as a thoughtful nature that I always felt far exceed her years,” he said. “When I took over as the women’s head coach at CBC, hers was one of the first names that came to mind because of those qualities, which I could tell were still very much intact after scouting some of her games. We can’t wait to see what Mallory will do as a Mustang!”
Mallory, who also played basketball for the Belles and was selected by her peers as Basketball Homecoming Queen earlier this year, is looking forward to attending school nearby at CBC. She feels academically prepared for college thanks to her time at Mount and is considering majoring in biology or kinesiology in order to pursue a career in physical therapy.
“I’m super excited about getting to be a part of the CBC family,” Mallory said. “Academically, CBC is a great school that will provide me with what I need for the future. As far as soccer goes, I can’t wait for the next four years. Coach Murphy was my first coach at LRFC when I was 11, and he has always been one of my favorite coaches.”
Mallory is the MSM soccer program’s second senior to sign this year. Team Captain Anya Ranaraja ’19 committed with Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, in February.
Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.