From redshirt to red hot

Deanna Stevens

Catharine Marosszeky, freshman speech pathology and audiology major, was red-shirted last soccer season due to an injury. One of Marosszeky’s trademark moves is her juggling abilities.

Credit: Steve Schirra

A different country, a different season, a different attitude.

Redshirt freshman midfielder/defender Catharine Marosszeky recovered from a 2004 season-ending knee injury to become a major contributor on the Kent State soccer team.

So far this season, Marosszeky has scored five goals, one of which was the game-winning goal against league leading Western Michigan, as well as three assists.

The Australian born, Canadian raised center midfielder has a newfound passion for the game she loves after sitting out an entire year.

Last season, 25 minutes into the season opener against Cleveland State, Marosszeky tore her MCL.

“It was the first injury of my whole career,” Marosszeky said. “I’ve had bumps and bruises and came off the field pretty banged up. But I’ve never had something that would stop me from getting back onto the field.”

According to Marosszeky, she believes the injury happened for a reason.

“I learned a lot about myself and it really opened my eyes to how much I loved soccer,” Marosszeky said. “I love working hard, and I love to win.”

Just like this season’s Mid-American Conference tournament berth, her recovery was a team effort.

“My teammates were awesome,” Marosszeky said. “I couldn’t have gotten through it with out them.”

Marosszeky said that something as simple as sophomore teammate Abby Drake supporting her while running at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center during recovery meant a lot.

As a part of Marosszeky’s theory of her injury happening for a reason, she said she would not have had the opportunity to get to know her teammates as much as she does now, if it were not for the injury.

But the initial shock of the injury was a crushing blow to an already stressful situation.

Before becoming a member of the Kent State soccer team, Marosszeky was a part of the Youth Development National League in Ontario. She was a center defensive player for the under 17 (years-old) squad. While an achievement in itself, the team’s trainers, and she herself, believed with her natural ability and work ethic she could have been promoted to the under 19-year-old level. But politics within the team and its coaches stopped that from happening.

Marosszeky said the hardest thing about the whole situation was not achieving her goal even though she had put in the work to do so.

It was the cold Canadian winters, after moving from Australia when she was eight, that got Marosszeky interested in the game of soccer in the first place.

Marosszeky said she started to play soccer when she was younger to stay in shape during the winter. And it was her own perfectionist quality that made her stick with it.

“I’ve never been satisfied with my play,” Marosszeky said. “Even when I was little, I wanted to improve my level of play.”

While it was Marosszeky’s capacity for improvement that kept her playing the sport, it was her club coach Durmurid who first developed her passion for the game.

“I had a great club coach,” she said. “I saw how great he was and how passionate he was about soccer that I guess he kind of passed it on to me.”

It was another coach who brought Marosszeky to the United States, more specifically Kent State, to play soccer at the college level.

“Coach Marinaro was probably the main reason I came here,” Marosszeky said. “I was really impressed with his vision for the program.”

Being less than six hours away from home and being able to use scholarships to help pay for college was another reason Marosszeky decided to cross the border.

Also, the challenge of playing a position she was not as experienced in peaked her interest in the blue and gold.

“I knew that I would play center midfield (as opposed to a defender),” Marosszeky said. “And it was a position that I could work and improve on.”

While she was unable to work on her new position last season, she worked on her overall game during the off-season to help her get to the level she is now. She played in the W league back home in Toronto during the summer.

“I was able to play a full game and really got my touches back,” Marosszeky said. “Getting back to the basics of soccer really helped a lot when I came back to Kent.”

But just as she was a child, she’s not satisfied with her level just yet.

“I’ve worked really hard and improved a lot, which was something that I wanted to do,” Marosszekey said. “But I still want to keep working hard and have an impact in the midfield.”

The U.S. may be the third country she has lived in since she was born, but this speech pathology major knows it will not be her last.

And she is hoping that her future in the sport will take her all over the world.

“There are leagues in Norway, Europe and Japan,” Marosszeky said. “And if I had the opportunity to play, I definitely would.”

Contact soccer reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].