Back home in Indiana
By Kevin Wang
After spending two and a half years at Florida State, the junior defender has turned to a new page by returning to Indiana and joining the Hoosiers.
When she graduated from Noblesville High School, McAuley did not choose to be the fourth Hoosier in her family right away, but instead she said had been looking at a lot of universities in the South and in the West.
McAuley said the fact that her older sister Morgan, who then was studying at Arizona State before transferring to IU, was the other reason why she wanted to go south.
Though she played four years for her high school varsity team, McAuley said she did not consider soccer her first priority.
“I never really looked at IU that much,” McAuley said. “Really, I just X’ed out most of the schools in the United States because I wanted to go to somewhere in the south and study marine biology.”
However, a foot injury sidelined McAuley during her second season with the Seminoles, and she began considering coming back home.
“It happened at the beginning of my sophomore season,” McAuley said, “It took a whole year to recover, and I had a lot of issues with it.”
McAuley had surgery on her foot in Indianapolis last August. She said the injury gave her a strong feeling that it was time for her to come home.
“I was still on the team,” she said, “but I couldn’t practice, couldn’t travel. I realized it’s not where I was supposed to be anymore.”
While she was recovering from the surgery, McAuley reevaluated her idea of coming back and finally made the decision.
By the time McAuley came back, her sister, Morgan McAuley, had transferred to IU. After visiting her on campus and talking to her parents, McAuley confirmed she would transfer.
McAuley joined the team this spring, but she said at first she was nervous about how well she could make a transition from the Seminoles to the Hoosiers.
“It was not really my team, and I was coming in as an outsider,” McAuley said, “but the girls were really amazing and welcoming me on and off the field.”
This summer, while taking classes on campus, McAuley spent two whole weeks practicing with her teammates, and she said she found herself feeling much more comfortable on the young IU team.
McAuley said her foot rehab is going well this season with the care from her athletic trainer on the team.
“Though it still had a couple of issues in the preseason, it’s been 100 percent so far since I came here in January,” she said.
McAuley said the encouragement from IU coach Mick Lyon also gave her confidence in coming back to the field.
“Mick was really supportive throughout,” she said. “And again, one of the reasons I came back is that the coaches and teammates are really good people on and off the field. We have good chemistry this year, and I am just excited to see how we do.”
So far, McAuley has played all seven games of the 2010 season and has been on stable rotations on Lyon’s back line.
Lyon said though McAuley is still new on the team, what makes her different from other new faces is her approach to the game.
“She is always asking good questions,” Lyon said. “That shows she is not just playing with skills and body, but with mind, too. That’s probably her specialty on the team.”