By Miranda Kulp, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For his fifth year in the program, Penn State's men soccer veteran Kyle MacDonald sets a positive example both on the field and in the classroom.
MacDonald is a true representative of what "success with honor" means in Penn State Athletics. He's a quiet leader on the team while also majoring in architectural engineering in the Schreyer's Honor College.
"Kyle's role is an amazing model for every freshman that comes into this program. Between his work ethic in the classroom and his dedication on the field, he's a guy you point to and say 'that's how you do it if you're a Penn State player,'" said head coach Bob Warming. "He's a great representative of Schreyer's, and a great example of the athletics program here at Penn State."
Although he's extremely dedicated to his academics and the team, MacDonald tributes his teaching staff and coaches for helping him succeed in both.
"It's tough to keep the balance but I have a great coaching staff and faculty to achieve my goals both academically and on the field," said MacDonald. "It's a lot of forward thinking and time management on my end. I like to be proactive and have a plan going into each week to make sure I can get everything done."
After Penn State, MacDonald either wants to pursue a soccer career or start his professional career as an architect.
"After school I'll try and play soccer as long as possible whether it's as a career or recreational, however my end goal is to become an architect and design sports facilities," said MacDonald.
Having a clear vision for the future, MacDonald reminisces about how he grew up playing soccer and also grew up a fan of Penn State. Since he was three, he's always had a family connection to the sport.
"I grew up with the sport, I have three older sisters who played soccer and with my dad coaching the teams I grew up on the sideline kicking the ball around watching them play," explained MacDonald.
"One of my sisters, Jillian, went to Penn State about eight or nine years ago and we kind of developed into a Penn State family after the fact so it's great being able to play soccer at Penn State with growing up a fan."
Known for always being able to set up a scoring shot for his teammates, MacDonald also tributes this forwarding thinking strategy of always thinking ahead when he's on the field.
"The coaching staff always preaches that we need to be thinking two or three plays ahead, so I think that same mind set translates both in academics and when I'm playing," said MacDonald.
For the last two seasons, MacDonald has scored his only career goals during each Mack Brady games which honors the late Mack Brady. Mack was the son of Christian Brady, who is the Dean of the Schreyer Honor College.
The Mack Brady Game is a special game for Penn State Athletics since it not only is a remembrance of a young boy's life but also helps raise money for the fund named in his honor.
"It's an important game for the entire Penn State and Centre County soccer community. Me personally being a Schreyer scholar, I take a special dedication to the game because Brady is a member of this soccer community," said MacDonald.
Not only is Sunday's match in honor of Mack Brady, but it also is the first Big Ten match for the regular season.
"We have a bunch of returning players who have experience in Big Ten play and some who this will be their first match. We have a talented team this year and I'm excited to see how the game unfolds," said MacDonald.
MacDonald will help lead the charge as the Blue and White take the field against Indiana for the third annual Mack Brady Game. The match is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13.