Mia Steadman (first year), a forward for the women’s soccer team, scored a bicycle kick goal in a match against Westcliff University on Sept. 2. Occidental was down 0-1 before Steadman’s goal tied the score and energized the team. According to Steadman, Haley Jacobson (sophomore) and Kara Ovenell (sophomore) assisted with the goal.
“Haley Jacobson, our center back, won the ball and she played it out wide to Kara [Ovenell] on the right,” Steadman said. “I remember Kara looking up and we kind of made eye contact and I knew that ball was coming in. The defender was in front of me and all I remember was turning my body away, and then everything else kind of blacked out. Then I was on the floor, and I was just watching it go in. And I kind of stood up and I didn’t really realize what had happened. And I just went running over to Kara and it was an incredible feeling.”
According to teammate Erin Evans (first year), the exceptional play came at a much-needed moment in one of the team’s first competitive games of the season.
“We were really struggling that game and everything after that goal […] was so much higher — our effort on the field, our sportsmanship off the field was so much better,” Evans said. “It was really a moment that just amped everybody up a lot.”
Women’s soccer team coach Colm McFeely said he also had high praise for Steadman’s goal.
“It was an amazing goal, there’s no two ways about it. [Steadman] certainly has, in her makeup, the ability to do things that are a little bit extraordinary,” McFeely said. “The opposing coach was looking and saying, who taught her that? It wasn’t us — she’s got all that stuff on her own.”
Steadman said she grew up with soccer in the family and developed a passion for the sport at an early age.
“My dad played in college, and so we kind of grew up watching it. I have an older sister – she plays at NYU – so we kind of just grew up with it all around us,” Steadman said. “I fell in love with [soccer] when I was five […] and it’s just continued ever since.”
According to McFeely, this devotion to soccer has extended to Steadman’s experience at Occidental.
“She’s got a smile on her face, she brings everybody into her circle, just from being a decent human being with a really positive attitude,” McFeely said. “I can’t speak highly enough about her from her attitude mentality – she just loves the game.”
When asked about the bicycle kick, McFeely said it was a remarkable play, and if anyone were to do it, it would be Steadman.
“If there’s going to be anybody that could reposition themselves, look at what was on to her, and then have the technique and the mental fortitude to go for something like that it would be Mia,” McFeely said. “And you know as a player, Mia has got great instinct, she sees the game very well. She gets herself into good positions in the penalty area, she’s very composed, never flustered, picks her spot well and has a real talent for finding the right space at the right time and making good decisions.”
Steadman said she has meshed into the women’s team over the past few weeks. She said her love of the game has served as a channel through which she’s built relationships with her peers.
“It’s kind of daunting coming in, but kind of right away everybody clicked with each other,” Steadman said. “There’s a really good culture and a really good sense of camaraderie and teamwork and sportsmanship.”
Evans also highlighted the team’s chemistry and good environment.
“All of the girls go and eat a lot of their meals together,” Evans said. “We’re going to go play card games tonight.”
According to Steadman, the team grew closer during their “double days” in the preseason, when the team practices twice a day.
“Morning practice was a little quiet, people were a little nervous, and it felt like by the time we had the evening practice, everybody had kind of come out of their shell already,” Steadman said. “Now we’re three weeks in and I’ve met some of the coolest people […] it’s been pretty special so far.”
McFeely said that the collective enthusiasm for Steadman’s goal is what soccer is all about.
“It was a special goal for anybody in the stadium that day,” McFeely said. “Anybody that had seen the video [knows] it’s part of what makes us enjoy the game so much.”
Contact Julian Villa at firstname.lastname@example.org