This is Nikita McCartney’s first year at St. Thomas University, but it’s definitely not the first time the midfield from Berry Mills, N.B. has hit the field.

She started playing soccer a decade ago at age seven.

STU won McCartney over after a recruitment officer visited her high school, Harrison Trimble, in Moncton.

“I liked the small campus and it [being] far from home, but not too, too far.”

She is considering a double-major in psychology and criminology, but may solely focus on majoring in criminology.

On top of her long-time commitment to soccer, McCartney also made time to play basketball from Grade Five to 11. She played on both junior varsity and varsity high-school teams.

The first-year player said she hasn’t experienced any difficulty adjusting to university life, even with daily practices and playing two to three games per week. She plans on playing for the Tommies throughout her entire time at St. Thomas.

McCartney’s goal is to become an overall better player. This means improving skills such as being stronger with the ball, making better passes and having better communication with her fellow teammates on the field.

She has already made strides so far this semester.

First year Nikita McCartney has done well as a rookie on the women’s soccer team. (Haley Stairs/AQ)

“The coaches and coaching staff helped me become more of a talker since we started here, which I [wasn’t] normally [before I came],” she said.

The coaches aren’t the only ones who have added to her experience at STU; her teammates have as well.

“I like the atmosphere of all the girls and how we mesh so well … It’s been one of the best years so far.”

She has helped her team climb to first place in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association, and 10th in the nation. McCartney scored the first two goals during their home opener game, and the winning goal against University of New Brunswick Saint John.

McCartney has been named one of STU’s athletes of the week and currently has the top score in the league with seven points, three goals and one assist.

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