A star on the rise
by Matthew Ondesko, Managing Editor
Photos: Geoff Schneider/Sports Union (@GMSPhotoWNY)
She took the pass and it one step took a beautiful touch and barrier the ball in the top corner of the net. It was a beautiful backdrop to have a breakout game, and that’s exactly what Mount Mercy Academy junior forward Abigail Mailloux did.
In front of a capacity crowd at the Demske Sports Complex at Canisius College, Mailloux wads the most lethal player on the pitch for both teams. Her def touch on her first goal was just things to come for the junior.
The way she took the pass, volleyed it to herself, and beat the Mt. St. Mary keeper was a thing of beauty. It also showed that she could compete at the highest level, during the biggest game of her early career.
The thing about her first goal was that Mailloux wasn’t done. With the game tied at 1-1 a piece, Mailloux was at it again. She was sent on a clear break on the MSM keeper, while she was originally stopped, on a great save, the rebound came right back to her and she once again barred the ball in the back of the net.
“The goalie, for Mt. St. Mary, is actually my second cousin. So, that kind of cool that I get to play against her,” stated Mailloux. I actually never scored against Mt. St. Mary, so that was kind of a cool accomplishment. That was a great shot, going in the top corner. I don’t know.”
Her play up top was the reason why the Magic had so much success. With All-Catholic Class B Player of the Year Rosie Bandura pulling the strings in the midfield, Mailloux was able to make her mark up top
Her play all season earned her second team All-Catholic honors in Class B. It helped cement her as one of the best players in the second division. It also has given her the confidence that she can compete on this level game in and game out.
A three sport athlete at Mt. Mercy Academy, Mailloux has battled with quad injuries during her playing career. Last year, during the shortened pandemic season, Mailloux missed time due to those pesky quad problems.
She dedicated herself during the offseason to get to getting stronger, and to stay on the pitch. Her work in the offseason worked as she was a constant threat throughout the entire season.
“Last year, I was injured with quad injuries - and it definitely held me back a lot,” stated Mailloux. “As I have gotten older, I have definitely taken care of my body more. Even freshman year I wasn’t a 100 percent with my quads. I went to physical therapy and got all that fixed. I take care of my body - and since then I have been going up.”
The work she has done all year has now given her the confidence that she needs heading into the offseason. Maybe early on in her career Mailloux might have not had the confidence to take that next step.
Now, she knows she can play with some of the elite players in the Monsignor Martin and beyond. Her junior year was the just beginning of that looks like will be a budding soccer career. It's just not playing at Mt. Mercy, Mailloux also has been playing at South Buffalo.
It goes to show that not everyone needs to play at the big travel clubs in Western New York. While she could play at WNY Flash, getting barrier on the bench, or only seeing limited time, would’t help her at the end of the day.
Instead she applies her trade with the smaller South Buffalo club where she knows she will get the touches to improve her game. A game that she will now hope will continue at the next level - a level she didn’t know would ever happen. But, now, Mailloux has the confidence to take her game to next level - and compete in college.
“I’ve been looking to play in college,” stated Mailloux. I think after this season it has really pushed me to want to continue my career in college. I play for my high school coach Maddie Higgins at South Buffalo soccer club over the summer.”
The compete level is always there when Mailloux is on the pitch. While the goals may not come all the time, it doesn’t mean she stops moving. She knows the life of a striker is never easy. The team counts on their striker to score.
It can be a lot of pressure to have to rise to the occasion every game. Mailloux knows what he job is, it’s to score goals. She also knows she can’t put undue pressure on herself.
“There is a lot to take on. I have other teammates that are there for me,” stated Mailloux. “Being the striker up top, it does take a lot to make sure you put the ball in the right spot - and get it past the goalie and put the ball in the back of the net. With the support of my team, and the coaches - and the practice, it helps a lot.”
While the game ended up in a confusing 2-2 tie, Mailloux showed she is ready for bigger things. The stage was set, the backdrop was perfect. The sun was shining. and Mailloux took the volley like she was doing it for years.
Abigail Mailloux had a day she would never forget.