Mount Mercy Academy's Parisi is Up to the Challengeby cnewman
You put down and challenge in front of Maddie Parisi, she won't just take it. She'll complete it.
Parisi, a sophomore who is in her second season of varsity soccer with the Mt. Mercy Magic, is the type of player that causes their coach to wear and ear-to-ear smile.
Not just because of what she does on the field, but more so because of her willingness to do whatever is asked of her.
"She's not scared of anything and she's a great athlete," said Mt. Mercy coach John Glose. "She's plays real physical, she's a tough girl and she proves it every single day - because in our league, we have some very good players. And every single time I have her mark one of the very best players on the other team. She never backs down and she plays real, real hard and I think she likes the challenge."
As tough and tenacious of a player as you will ever come across, Parisi doesn't just accept her role as the Magic's lock-down defender. She relishes it and sees each game as a personal challenge to keep her mark off the scoreboard.
"I just tell myself that basically I can do it," Parisi said. "Even though sometimes I don't even think I can. My teammates, they support me a lot and they just always tell me that I can do it and that I'm good, even when I mess up. So my teammates are a lot of help."
Parisi's shining moment of the season, and perhaps her career, came on Sept. 15 when the Magic gave defending state champion Nichols all they could handle in a 1-0 loss.
Parisi did a brilliant job of containing Catherine Williams all afternoon as Williams' lone tally came as a result of a free kick. Even Catherine's father, John Williams, remarked that he thought Parisi did an outstanding job of shadowing Catherine.
Having the skill to keep pace with the best players in the league from the word go, Glose said that Parisi may have been a bit timid early on. But in no time she found her varsity voice, and the Magic found a top-notch player they could count on.
"She was a little intimidated, I think, as a freshman. But she learned a lot," said Glose. "She asks for the challenge, she wants it and she knows she's going to get it, too."
Parisi is also wise enough to pick the brains of older, more experienced, teammates like Rebecca Alvira for advice on how to improve her game.
"She is always telling me that I'm doing a good job," said Parisi. "And she has really good tips to help, too because she's a really good soccer player."
But it isn't just the people in the Mt. Mercy soccer family that are singing Parisi's praises, as opposing coaches and players often remark how impressed they were by Maddie's play.
"Her work ethic and her non-stop 80 minutes of just playing extremely hard and just playing aggressive," said Glose. "And she is getting noticed by a lot of the coaches. After every game someone is saying something to me about how well she played."