Mackenzie Lee has been playing soccer for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns soccer program since 2016. Now a senior, she is ready for a killer season.
Lee is one of Louisiana’s goalkeepers, though that is not the position she’s always played. After a teammate’s injury, she stepped up to take their position.
“I was a field player until I was a freshman in high school, so like 14, 15-ish, and then we went to nationals and our goalkeeper got hurt and they asked if anyone played a sport that used their hands,” Lee said. “I played basketball, so they put me in and kinda just stuck me there ever since.”
Lee may not have always been goalkeeper, but she’s been playing soccer since the age of three.
Lee has a lot of experience on the field. In high school, she was a three-time all-district selection in Kingwood, Texas. She was also named her team’s offensive player of the year, after leading them in scoring her last two seasons.
She played in four matches her freshman season, having a total of 15 saves and a season-high save of seven in a game against Nicholls State.
As a sophomore, she started in 11 matches and had a team and career-high of 49 saves. She also had a season-high save of eight and three shutouts in the season. With her number of saves, she ranked fourth in the Sun Belt Conference.
In her junior season, she started in eight matches and played in nine. She collected a career-best nine saves and once again ranked fourth in the SBC in saves after getting 44 during the season.
As a senior, Lee takes charge on the field. Head Coach Lance Key recognizes her leadership.
“I think on the defensive side of things, we’re going to have to rely heavily on the leadership of our goalkeeper Mackenzie Lee, who’s a senior,” Key said.
Lee is a very dedicated and motivated player. She thanks her parents for supporting her.
“All the time and hours I’ve put in and sacrifice that my parents have made for me keeps me motivated,” Lee said. “That really keeps me pushing, because I know they’ve put in a lot of their time and their hours that they didn’t have to.”
The season is just getting started and Louisiana is already 4-2-1. Lee gave her thoughts on how the season is going so far.
“I think the season is going really well. At first, we had to find our footing and find our rhythm. We’re definitely playing more like a soccer team now and I think we all really like that. This is the fourth game in a row we’ve won,” Lee said, referring to their recent win against Nicholls on Sept. 11.
All of the hard work doesn’t happen overnight. The team has intense practices that payoff on game days.
“A typical day of practice, sometimes we have weights before, but if we don’t have weights before we usually go about 90 minutes,” Lee said. “We do some technical work. We’ve been doing a lot of crossing and finishing because we like to swing the ball and play it out.”
Outside from soccer, Lee is a marketing major and has worked as an intern for Foster Marketing in Lafayette.
The season continues until the end of October, followed by a championship tournament in November. With Lee as a key factor to Louisiana’s success, they are in good shape.