Maeve Miller Downey '15
West Baldwin, Maine
When Maeve Miller Downey began researching colleges, she decided to focus on schools that were known for having good study-abroad programs. Naturally, she came across Goucher early in her search. Then her guidance counselor suggested Goucher to her about a week later, and then a few days after that, she saw it profiled in the book The Colleges That Change Lives. She says, “I’d run across it so many times, I decided to apply.”
Despite all signs pointing to Goucher, it wasn’t initially one of Downey’s top choices because it was a bit too far away from her home in West Baldwin, Maine. But her parents encouraged her to visit, and once she did, she says, “I fell in love with the school. The campus was beautiful, and the women’s soccer team players who hosted me were so welcoming that I knew I would be at home there.”
Downey has, indeed, made her home at Goucher, a place that inspires her appreciation for “how comfortable you can feel here.” Despite the college’s distance from her biological loved ones, she says, “My team and my coaches are my family away from home. We are with one another every day, without fail, and I wouldn’t ever want to change that.” She says her experience at Goucher would be completely different if she hadn't played soccer and believes joining the team was “the best decision I made!”
She says playing sports at the college level allows athletes to push themselves and to have others—coaches, teammates, opposing players—also push them to improve more than they ever would have thought possible. “There are also not many feelings more satisfactory than working hard together with your team and reaching goals that you have set. It teaches you how to be selfless; that when you are part of a team, you put the good of the team first before your own desires,” Downey says.
While soccer is a very big part of her life at Goucher, Downey is also very committed to her academic program. She is very grateful for how helpful and truly invested the faculty is in seeing the students succeed. “I think the academic program at Goucher is different from many other places because the professors always seem to be very involved and very willing to go that extra step to help students and push them out of their comfort zone,” she says.
After Goucher, Downey plans to combine the knowledge she acquired from her classes with the determination she honed on the soccer field to go on to a graduate program to become either a physician’s assistant or a physical therapist.