After spending the night in the emergency room, Perez was out training the next day, arm in a sling. She was greeted with a flood of gift baskets and warm wishes from her teammates, all of whom were overjoyed to be there.
Her commitment to the Mustangs never waned; She was present at every training session and game, despite not being able to play a minute in a shortened 6-2-0 season. Every day, Medway trainer Jason Rojee the enthusiastic junior had to peel off the field when she tried to do the exercises with her teammates while wearing the sling.
“I love the environment, the people and the competitiveness of the game,” said Perez. “My goal is to get everyone around me as excited as I am for playing football.”
Perez, a physical player at 5ft5 who never makes a play-off, is one of four elected captains despite not having played a varsity game at Medway and joining other seniors Ella Cence and Liv Killman, and Junior Callahan Cottone.
In the preseason, she made a point of helping the newbies and building relationships with every player.
“She’s a personality full of personality who plays like a rocket,” said Rojee. “She gives full throttle at all times and everyone draws on her enthusiasm. Leading her as she did after her injury was child’s play, making her captain. “
Perez, who played outside for her club team, will be tasked with quickly distributing the ball and controlling the pace of the play center for Medway.
“She’s a great role model,” said Rojee, who in his 19th season named Perez one of the top athletes he has coached.
“She’s constantly pushing herself to get better and asking me what she needs to work on in her game so she can fix it. If you have a leader who practices and plays like that, it rubs off on everyone. “
There have been a number of challenges along the way but Perez keeps playing.
In 2015, Perez was diagnosed with Lyme disease. In 2018 she fell ill with lupus, a disease in which the immune system attacks its own tissue. She was in her eighth grade and, due to her development, missed vital time taking care of her own health.
During the spring season for NEFC, Perez was checked after spraying a cross in the opponent’s 18 yard room and attempting to stop her fall by holding out her arms. It shattered its radius and needed three pegs and a rod to stabilize the intricate fracture.
“She got some tough tickets for a child,” said her mother. Leah Perez. “She can’t take a break unless it’s with her bones.”
After a busy year, Mikayla proudly wore the Mustang Blue at EMass on Saturday. Girls’ soccer jamboree in Medway.
“A dream came true with this shirt,” said Perez.
▪ Since 2014, with the completion of Hanlon Field, Medway High has been a perfect match for the annual EMass girls’ soccer jamboree. On Saturday, 32 teams from eastern Massachusetts returned triumphantly to the preseason for the first time in two years after the 2020 event failed to take place during the pandemic.
“It’s a great way to introduce quality football to your team and get some kind of benchmark to start the season where you are today,” said Medway coach Jason Rojee, the organizer.
With top teams like Bishop Feehan, Foxborough, Winchester, Hingham and Brookline among many others, Rojee said it was the perfect opportunity to compete at a high level but with low stakes.
“As a coach you never really want to look at it preseason and say, ‘Well, we’re great,'” said Rojee. “You always want to find and nibble little things here and there.”
▪ After a 10-0-0 campaign last fall, Winchester graduated from 15 seniors, eight of whom are playing collegially. The Red & Black were made by the two-time All-American and three-time Middlesex League MVP. cited Hannah Curtinwho scored 82 goals during her career before moving to Dartmouth.
Coach Rick EmanuelHowever, we are optimistic about the future.
“I have great faith in these players and this group,” he said. “We have talent and a solid player pipeline. I think we will play as a team now more than ever. “
▪ After splitting the field during high school, Weymouth Alumnae Grace McDermott and Sarah Fuller Both completed their first careers for the Westfield State University women’s soccer team on Saturday. New goalkeeper Fuller played for 45 minutes, shooting for the Owls en route to a goalless draw with Stockton, and new defender McDermott saw 16 minutes of action.
Games to watch
Wednesday, Dover-Sherborn at Medway, 5:30 p.m. – After Medway hit 6-2-2 a season ago, Medway is looking for more and Dover-Sherborn looks to replicate their success by setting an impressive 8-1-1 record in the shortened 2020 season.
Thursday, Foxborough at King Philip, 3:45 p.m. – In the first top 20 match of the year, No. 3 King Philip and No. 15 Foxborough in a hockomock fight. KP won the only matchup in 2020 3-2.
Friday, Medfield at Holliston, 3:30 p.m. – No. 18 Medfield and No. 20 Holliston both start the year on the verge of the top 20. Both teams remained undefeated a season ago and set 7-0-3 records but never met.
Saturday, Lexington at Concord-Carlisle, 5 p.m. – The unranked Minutemen will try to shake up the leaderboard if they get No. 8 Record Concord-Carlisle.
Monday, Bishop Fenwick at Arlington Catholic, 3:45 p.m. – The Catholic Central League is filled with heavy hitters year after year and AC will be highly motivated after Fenwick swept the series last fall.
Correspondent Emma Healy also contributed to the story.