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Meet the Mustangs: Macy Vrabel - Cal Poly Women’s Soccer

Meet the Mustangs: Macy Vrabel - Cal Poly Women’s Soccer

Macy Vrabel is in her senior year as a Cal Poly midfielder. After transferring into the program following her freshman season at Iowa State, Vrabel played in 14 matches her sophomore and junior years, including nine straight starts. Currently readying to return from an injury earlier this season, Macy took a few moments before a recent practice to discuss soccer and her studies.

Set to graduate with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, the alum of Torrey Pines High in San Diego has earned back-to-back Big West Commissioner's Honors academically.

How'd you first start playing soccer?
        A while ago, probably when I was 5 years old, I played rec soccer. My dad was my coach, and I think one of the reasons why I have good vision on the field is he would tell me in rec soccer to pass the ball more and share it with all the other kids — so I think I learned a lot of passing and possession style of play even from that early age. And my older sister also played soccer; she's 2 years older than me and kind of led the way as a role model.

Who inspired you along the way in becoming a college athlete?
        My sister for sure. Even though she didn't play college soccer, just her love for the game kept inspiring you to keep going and playing through injuries or whatever. Also, the U.S. National Team always is cool to look up to and watch.

When you were transferring, what made you want to become a Mustang?
        Being in California, for sure; the location's amazing and the Central Coast is so pretty here. The town is so friendly and I love the downtown area and the campus. And the academics really drew me into Cal Poly. I knew they had a strong Business program, and that was something I was interested in.

So this year you've been out for a bit; what's your timetable for returning to the field?
        Well, I got a concussion about two weeks ago during practice, and I'm finally symptom-free — so I'm starting to bike and see how I feel. It's just a long protocol, but hopefully I'll be back for conference at least, or maybe the next week or two. It takes a while to build back up the strength and conditioning that we soccer players have to have.

What's the process like, coming back from an injury like that?
        It's hard ... I mean, mentally it can be rough; I've had so many injuries, like really from my feet up to my head. With the concussion it's been challenging, but you've got to stay positive and stay with the team and hang out with the girls, and you stay connected that way.

What type of midfielder would you say you are, and how would you describe how you fit into the team?
        Right now we switched to a 3-5-2 formation, so we have three center-mids. Typically we have one defensive and two attacking (midfielders), and typically I'm one of the attacking mids. I'd say I feel like more of an attacking player and have more of the vision for the final pass; that kind of thing — rather than being a ball-winner in the middle. I definitely prefer an attacking center-mid kind of role.

Why'd you choose Business as a major?
        Originally I was interior design at (Iowa State), but I wanted to do something with sports, and was kind of looking more at business and was always contemplating whether I should switch or not. So I kind of realized I wanted to do sports marketing. I found out more about it and thought it would be a really cool way to stay with sports. I love all kinds of sports — watching them and being a part of it, I think it's such a cool atmosphere and environment, so I wanted to continue that throughout my life.

What's been your favorite class here at Cal Poly?
        Maybe last quarter; I had an upper-division marketing class where we got to work with a client called Running Warehouse based in SLO. It was cool to be able to work with them and implement strategies to help gain more potential customers and create other strategies to keep current customers they have right now. That was really fun.

What's your favorite thing about soccer?
        I just love how freeing of a game it is. It's so nice to just be able to play and not have, like, a ton of 'set' plays all the time. It's your decision. You make up your mind how you want to play and where you want to go. The game is so much fun for me and is something I've always done, and I can't imagine not playing it.

— Mustang Head Coach Alex Crozier on Macy —
        "Macy is a very talented and versatile player. She's made significant contributions to the team but has been dealing with injuries for the past two seasons. We're hopeful that she'll be at full strength in time for conference."

Photos © Alexander Bohlen / Owen Main

        Mustang seniors will be featured on throughout the season. Cal Poly returns to Alex G. Spanos Stadium to host Cal Baptist at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23.

        The upcoming Sunday game against the Lancers, a first-year member of the WAC, will conclude Week of Welcome around campus as well as non-conference play. It will also be a Youth Day in Spanos Stadium, with free admission for all kids 13-and-under.

        Tickets are available at, by calling (805) 756-4849 or by visiting the sidewalk window at the on-campus Performing Arts Center from 12 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.