Jacksonville’s Mary Sturgis is not the first of her family to play in a high pressure situation and she proved that as the freshman hit the pitch in her first Atlantic Sun Women’s Soccer Championship match on Friday night.
Mary is the sixth in the family to play a collegiate sport. Even more noteworthy, Mary’s two older brothers have made strides in the pros as Caleb Sturgis is a kicker for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and Nathan plays in the MLS on the Colorado Rapids.
“Everybody in the family was always supportive of each other. We are competitive but it’s always a fun atmosphere,” Mary said.
Brother, Caleb is a rookie kicker on Dolphins’ roster and has made 13 field goals this season with an NFL career long of 54 yards while adding a tackle.
Nathan Sturgis is in his ninth season with the MLS and has played in 105 career games; netting five goals and adding three assists.
“The last time I watched Nathan play was in the U-21 World Cup because he’s played all over the place and it’s so hard to catch a game.”
The Sturgis’ pushed each other as a family and kept the competitive atmosphere high around the house.
Mary explained, “We would have World Cup Soccer matches in the front yard all the time and we would go all out.”
In Mary’s freshman season with the Dolphins she’s played in all 19 games and has started in 18 of them with one goal and two assists.
Sturgis made the A-Sun All-Conference Freshmen Team this season with a strong presence in the midfield.
“She’s done a great job, making the All-Freshmen Team was definitely warranted,” said Jacksonville’s Head Coach Brian Copham.
Teammates said from the first day of preseason that Mary had a competitive edge that was off the charts.
“The upperclassmen said it early on, this kid likes to compete. She’s not afraid to compete, she’s not afraid to go in hard for a tackle.”
There is no question that with Mary’s upbringing she had the perfect recipe to be successful on the field, it’s in her blood. JU is in good hands as Sturgis is ready for many successful seasons ahead with support from her family and her new soccer family.
“I think my parents are really proud, they’ve been so supportive of us in everything we do.”