Women's Soccer News

WSOC | Goalkeeper Julia MacDonald officially commits to Carleton

Written by Carleton Sports Information

OTTAWA, Ontario – Carleton Ravens Women’s Soccer is adding to their Goalkeeper rotation with the most recent commitment of Julia Macdonald.

Name: Julia MacDonald
Hometown:  Hammonds Plains, NS
High School:  Charles P. Allen High School
Soccer Club:  Suburban FC
Position:  Goalkeeper
Favourite National team:  Canada Women’s National Team
Favourite Club team: Bayern Munich

Accomplishments:

• Three years in the Canada Soccer NS REX program

• Five years on the NS Provincial Team and three-time Atlantic Champions

• Selected for the 2017 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy Centres Combine

• Winning club Provincials and competing at the 2016 Canadian National Club Championships

• CSCA Ignite High-Performance Rugby Program 2020-21

Q: Why did you decide to attend Carleton?

After visiting last year, I knew that the Ravens’ team environment was the perfect fit for me. I found that Coach Dom and the rest of his staff provided exactly what I envisioned in a successful varsity soccer program, and I felt that it would give me the best opportunity to improve my abilities at a high level both as a player and a person. Overall, meeting the team and coaches was a very welcoming experience and I definitely saw myself playing there for four or five years. In addition, the academics at Carleton are well regarded and have a similar approach in that their communities are tight-knit and focus highly on individual student success. It has all the benefits of being a smaller campus away from the city but also everything you would expect from a leading university and more. Lastly, Ottawa itself was also a large factor when I decided to attend Carleton since you can’t really beat living next to Canada’s capital. Though the city seemed big at first, I felt completely at home during my visit despite coming from a small province.

Q: What part about playing for the Ravens soccer team are you most looking forward to?

I most look forward to becoming part of the Ravens family and seeing what the varsity team experience can offer. I was so impressed with how welcoming and passionate the team was during my visit, and I’m quite excited to finally be a part of that. I’ve made countless lasting relationships with soccer so far and continuing down this path while achieving a university education is also definitely something to look forward to. Overall, I would like to bring my abilities as a player to the team and find a role where I can help lead them to success.

Q: How did you get started in soccer?

As long as I can remember, I grew up around sports. Before I was old enough to play, I would watch my brothers’ soccer games from the sidelines knowing I wanted to be on the field someday too. I soon joined a local community club and then started to play competitively at U10. It wasn’t until I was 12 that I realized I wanted to be a goalkeeper even though I had always enjoyed playing striker and scoring goals the most. I had been called up to a team that did not have a keeper, so I offered to play in nets when no one else would. From then on, I knew that it was exactly where I saw myself as a player and I never looked back.

Q: What is your style of play?  

I believe my style of play is based on my shot-stopping ability on defense and my eagerness to be a part of the play on attack. I use my quick reactions to deflect closer shots and I’m able to quickly cover the net either on the ground or in the air to make the more difficult saves. Whenever I have the opportunity,  I’ll also make the decision to come off my line. On attack, I’m always looking to be an option for my teammates and I like to have the ball at my feet. Overall, I aim to be someone my team can rely on for any game.

Q: Is there a professional soccer player that you model your game after?

I wouldn’t say there is a specific player that I model my game after; I instead look to apply what I can learn from several players, whether they play locally or professionally. There were always a few local keepers that I looked up to when I was younger, and I carried what they taught me into the player that I am today. This specifically includes using effective communication on the field with the backline and understanding the important role I play in keeping my whole team organized and prepared on defense. As for professional players, I always looked to notice small details that set them apart from others, whether it be timing on crosses or decision making in distribution, which I could then apply to my own game.

Q: Describe your strengths and some areas for improvement:

I think my main strengths on the field are 1v1s/shot-stopping, distribution on attack, and communication. I’m also determined and always willing to put myself on the line for my team. I think becoming used to the speed of play at the university level is something I’ll be working on. In addition, I  would like to improve my timing and decision-making on set pieces.

Q: Which academic program will you be studying and why is that of interest to you?

I will be studying a BS Honours in Neuroscience as I’ve always had an interest in the life sciences and healthcare. This program appealed to me the most since its field is constantly changing and there is always new and exciting research taking place. I found that Carleton’s Neuroscience program is one of the best in Canada and its professors are well regarded. I plan to apply the knowledge and experience I gain in this degree to a healthcare related career later on, where I hope to improve individual lives.

Q: What extra-curricular activities do you enjoy?

When I’m not playing soccer, I’m usually on a rugby pitch. As a member of the Nova Scotia Keltics Provincial program, I won gold at the U16 Atlantic Championships in 2019 and went on to compete at the U16 Eastern National Championships in the same year. I was also selected to compete with the U18 Keltics Team at the 2020 Ireland Tour and I’m presently in the player pool for the 2021 (postponed to ‘22) Canada Summer Games.

I’ve also volunteered with several local soccer clubs for many years, mainly focusing on GK training with younger keepers, especially girls. I always believed it was important to give back to the community where I started playing so I could teach the next generation of players.

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Welcome to the BirdGang, Julia!