McLaughlin Blogs From Vancouver: May 25
Former three-time Iowa State defensive MVP Mary Kate McLaughlin is in the midst of her debut season with the Vancouver Whitecaps of the W-League. McLaughlin will provide updates on her experiences in Vancouver throughout the summer. This is her first blog entry.
Hey Cyclone fans!
Unfortunately I'm not here to welcome you back to yet another episode of "Kickin' It with the Big Kat." However, I couldn't be happier to be greeting you from the beautiful city of Vancouver in British Columbia Canada! For the past three weeks I have had the privilege of playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, as I signed to play with them for the summer. ISU head Coach Wendy Dillinger has asked me to blog about my experiences, and I am thrilled to be able to share them with you all!
I cannot put in to words how appreciative I am of this opportunity. I've had a wonderful experience over the past four years playing at Iowa State University, for some of the best fans in the nation, and I am very grateful for all of the support I received from my Cyclone family. I felt very prepared beginning this journey as all my coaches at Iowa State pushed me to my fullest potential on and off the field. My teammates challenged me every day in practice and created a competitive environment that allowed me to grow and develop as a person and a player.
After spending just three weeks in Vancouver, I can honestly say it is one of the greatest cities I've ever visited! Each morning I have the privilege of waking up to a beautiful view of the mountains and the Pacific Ocean in Deep Cove. It absolutely takes my breath away. I live a short 2.2 km away from The Deep Cove Park and Marina where city residents and tourists can kayak, indulge in sushi and gelato, or go hiking. Recently, my teammates and I hiked the Baden Powel Trail and experienced a beautiful view overlooking Deep Cove. Downtown Vancouver is just a 20-minute drive from our house where the city is bustling with the latest shops, tasty restaurants and a Starbucks on every corner!
One of the most appealing aspects of Vancouver is the community's genuine appreciation for the game of soccer. The community is overwhelmingly supportive of the Whitecaps soccer program, and it has been nothing short of a blessing playing for such dedicated fans. It reminds of the endless love and support I experienced playing for my Cyclone soccer family back home!
The training environment up here is nothing short of competitive and intense! I have the opportunity to play with a very talented group of girls from all over the world with varying levels of experience. Head coach Jesse Symons and assistant coaches Rich Fagan and Mark McQueen have challenged me every day in training, and I am thankful to be apart of this program! Overall, the Whitecaps organization has been very welcoming and accommodating.
The Vancouver Whitecaps play in the Western Conference of the W-League alongside the Colorado Force, Colorado Rush, LA Strikers, Pali Blues, Santa Clarita Blue Heat, Seattle Sounders and the Victoria Highlanders. Although we had a rough start to the season (0-2), we are not getting discouraged! We realize that it takes time adjusting to one another and each day in training we are making strides as a team and building better chemistry on the field. On Sunday we will play our second home game of the season against the Seattle Sounders! Check back soon for another update from Canada! Until next time, keep kickin'!
-#7 (Whitecaps #16)
"The only disability in life is a bad attitude." - Scott Hamilton