Jan. 22, 2013
Former Boston College midfielder Kristen Mewis saw her hard work pay off last week when she was drafted third overall in the inaugural National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) draft on Friday.
Mewis, who graduated a semester early in December, will be playing for FC Kansas City when the season kicks off in the spring. Though she has never been to Kansas City and has no idea what to expect, the former Eagle is excited by the prospect of living somewhere new.
"It's going to be a really good experience to move somewhere that I might be a little uncomfortable with the surroundings," Mewis said. "It will be really good for me as a person to try something different."
It will be a big change for the Hanson, Mass., native who grew just under an hour from the Heights. She sees this change of scenery and lifestyle as the biggest challenge she will face moving halfway across the country. Even so, she is excited at the chance to play soccer without the academic rigors that come with college.
"It will allow me to solely focus on soccer, which will hopefully allow me to become better and better each day," Mewis said of her jump to the pros.
As she strives to improve her play, Mewis expects her team to be the best. She knows that Kansas City has acquired a lot of top talent. Some of her new teammates also play on the U.S. national team. In fact, it has been her goal since she was a little girl to play for the American team and she hopes she can use the NWSL as a launching pad for a spot on the team.
"It would be icing on the cake for everything," Mewis said of making the national team. "I know it's going to take hard work and dedication and might take a while to get there but it's the ultimate goal and I know I will get there at some point."
On Feb. 12, Mewis will take one of her first steps toward that goal when she attends a three-day camp she was invited to where she will showcase her talents for the new national team coach, Tom Sermanni. According to Mewis, if she does well she will be invited back to another camp that could eventually lead to her making the team. Her play in Kansas City can also help her make the team which has motivated her to become one of the top players in the new league.
At BC, Mewis was certainly one of the best players, ending her career as the school's leader in points (116) and goals (39) while finishing in second in assists (38). She credits the team she had around her as an Eagle with much of the success she had and with helping prepare her for a career in professional soccer. She calls her teammates her best friends and stays in contact with them even after her early graduation.
Mewis also acknowledges the importance of the education she received at the Heights in preparing for life after college. What she learned at BC has made her a more mature person who understands the real world better, making her into the person she is today.
Over the summer and into the fall semester, Mewis had to push herself academically in order to graduate in December rather than May. She took three classes over the summer and a full-five course load in the fall when many seniors only take four. She says it was difficult but it was worth it to help her play her best for Kansas City. At the same time, Mewis saw her hard work in soccer pay off when she was drafted, she also received her diploma in the mail which was another important moment to her.
When Mewis plays her first game for Kansas City it will not be her first professional experience. Mewis was in Australia earlier this month playing for Canberra United. She played in two games filling in for an injured player before the team was eliminated from its tournament. She made her presence felt scoring a goal in both games.
"I had never been to Australia before and it was really fun," Mewis said. "The people were so welcoming. It was a really good experience for my first professional encounter. It was good to get that under my belt as some professional experience will help me with the new league."
Surprisingly, Mewis did not find joining the team late into its season to be a difficult task. A big part of that for her was that it was a much more laid back attitude over there.
"Everybody helped me through it and helped me learn plays and deal with the strategy part of the game," Mewis said.
The NWSL has not announced the start date of its season but Mewis will make her professional debut in the United States in the spring.
Written by senior Eddie Lockhart