The Seasiders’ girls soccer team received a boost of talent when three players transferred from NCAA Division I programs to play soccer at BYU-Hawaii for this Fall season.
Mackenzie Bean, a sophomore majoring in exercise sports science from Washington, summed up the three girl’s feelings when she said, “We love being here and playing soccer at BYU-Hawaii.”
The trio includes Bean and senior transfers Mackenzie Moore and Sydney Eddy. All three played soccer at Division I programs directly out of high school and all three were looking to transfer to a new school for the 2016 season.
Eddy, a senior from Tennessee majoring in journalism, explained, “[Moore] and I were Googling teams in California and then Mackenzie goes, ‘Do you know they have a BYU-Hawaii?’ I’m not LDS, so I said, ‘Dude, I’m not going to BYU. Not going to happen.’ But then we talked to Mark Davis, the previous coach, and he was so pumped up so I was like, ‘This guy seems cool. Let’s go.’”
Bean took a year off from collegiate soccer after her freshman year playing at Portland State. She moved to Seattle where she was still playing soccer but wanted to get back into collegiate athletics.
“Honestly, I don’t know exactly how I found BYUH,” said Bean. “I was talking to one of my friends from Portland State who was also thinking about leaving. I said we should go somewhere fun. We should go somewhere not as serious and as hard but we can still play competitive soccer. I started emailing schools in Hawaii and California with more of a locational focus, and then Dan Dummar gave me a call twenty minutes after I had emailed him and it just worked out.”
“The best part of playing soccer for BYUH has been Dan Dummar,” said Eddy. “Dan Dummar is going to help me end my soccer career on a really good note. It’s because he is not only a really good coach but a really great guy and he cares about his players and that’s really awesome.”
Bean said coming from a Division I program was “mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging.” She said, “Coming to a program where we have so much support from the coaching staff and where the other girls on the team is super awesome. It’s just a really good energy,” added Bean.
Moore, a senior from Tennessee studying exercise sports science, said, “I loved my coaches at Tennessee. I had a great relationship with my coach. He was my dad away from home. Now here, I have loved playing for Dan. I have a different player-coach relationship with Dan though because now I’m playing. It’s just different from when you’re standing on the sideline with the coach to when you are out on the field.”
After playing three seasons at the University of Tennessee, Moore was excited for the opportunity to be a senior leader on the team. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the time playing on the field she was wanting.
“I was supposed to have this upperclassmen leadership role but I wasn’t playing, which was really difficult,” explained Moore.
Moore decided she would forego her senior year of collegiate soccer and would instead study abroad in the Czech Republic. But she said she was not about to head to the other side of the world without having someone she knew.
“Sydney and I grew up playing club soccer together, so we’ve known each other since we were 15. Then we went to our different colleges, so when I had found out she had stopped playing at Ole Miss I was like ‘I am only going to study abroad if I have someone I know to go with.’ So I contacted her and that’s how we ended up together over there.”
Moore and Eddy studied abroad in the Czech Republic for their senior years and even played some women’s semi-pro soccer in the city of Brno. After their time in Europe, both said they felt they would be finished playing soccer.
“Playing in Division I athletics was mentally and emotionally strenuous and it took a toll on me,” said Eddy. “Soccer wasn’t really fun anymore and that’s when I left soccer to study abroad. In the Czech Republic we were watching the NCAA women’s soccer tournament and Ole Miss, my former team advances to the Sweet 16 and I’m thinking you’ve got to be kidding me. I’m not on the team when they go to the Sweet 16. So I started getting jacked up a little about playing.”
At this time, Moore and Eddy began the search for a school to play at. Both were getting ready to graduate, but with each having a year remaining of eligibility, they decided to make the most of it.
“We were looking for a different experience,” said Moore. “We both walked at our old schools, so basically when we got back from the Czech Republic, it was like we can go and start our lives in the ‘real world’ or we can go and play one more season of soccer in Hawaii.”
The decision was much more difficult for Moore than she originally thought it would be.
Moore admitted, “For awhile, I was like, ‘No, I’ve got to be responsible! I’ve got to go graduate and start working.’ My parents told me, ‘It’s not going to matter if you start working now or if you start working in December. You’re going to be 22. Go enjoy this experience.’”
For Eddy, Moore and Bean this season has been a great time to play together.
“Its not common to get a bunch of DI transfers all at one time,” Moore said.
“Most Division I players either stick it out and keep playing at the school they started with or they are just done,” added Eddy.
“My friends who were going to come with me regret not coming now when they watch my Snapchat stories,” joked Bean.