McGillivary impressive for Bulldogs in soccer last week

MSU's Zakirah McGillivary (99)

Staff Writer

Zakirah McGillivary hasn’t wasted any time making a difference for the Mississippi State soccer team.

Since arriving in the spring, McGillivary has caught the eye of the Bulldogs.

McGillivary has now gotten the attention of the Southeastern Conference with her start to the season.

She scored a pair of goals and added an assist over the last two matches for MSU and was selected the SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday for her performance.
State soccer coach Tom Anagnost has watched the improvement of McGillivary and said she has been rewarded for that.

"For a about a month (in the spring), she was one of our best attacking players,” Anagnost said. “For her, it’s just doing everything consistently in nutrition, training, focus on what we are doing and applying it. She elevated her game the week of training before (the Memphis match) and from the last game on, so it’s no surprise to me that she has done well.”

McGillivary scored her first career goal for the Bulldogs against Memphis last Thursday as she chased down a loose soccer ball and beat the goal keeper one-on-one. She has an assist earlier in the match on a score by Brook McKee.

On Sunday, McGillivary scored the game-winning goal against South Alabama.

MSU junior MaKayla Waldner said McGillivary’s play has inspired even the veterans on the team.

“Z has a very dominant personality, so she is going to come out here and give us her all every chance she has,” Waldner said. “She is going to come out here and work She wants to go out there and make an impact on the field and off the field. On the field, she has done everything we’ve asked her to do.”

McGillivary, a Brooklyn, New York, native is the first Bulldog to earn SEC Freshman of the Week since Honeye Heydari on Sept. 4, 2012.

As good as McGillivary has already been, Anagnost can see her getting much better.

“She has a lot of room for growth and has a high ceiling,” Anagnost said. “I look at her as someone who hasn’t even come close to reaching her potential.

“It shows that if you learn to grow each day, you can be a reason why our team does well.”

MSU and McGillivary are back in action Thursday at home against Central Arkansas at 7 p.m.