By Sheri Duff
“In many ways,” Champlain Valley Union (CVU) girls head soccer coach Stan Williams declared, “Mackenzie Kingston is one of the most valuable soccer players in the state.” And if that isn’t praise enough, coach Williams continued, “As a player, her strength is her athleticism, her tenacity, and her versatility. She has played almost every position on the field this year. At the mid-way point of the season, she was tied as our leading scorer.
Then our center back got hurt and Mackenzie shifted to become the anchor of our defense. This versatility and willingness to do anything for the betterment of the team makes her one of the most valuable soccer players in the state.”
Born on May 4, 1996 and raised in Charlotte, Kingston’s family includes parents Heather and Chris, a stepfather named Chuck, older sister Lindsay, a senior at Middlebury College, older sister Taylor, a Savannah College of Art and Design student, a black Lab called Caviar, a yellow Lab named Brie, and two cats, Sparticus and Peppercorn.
As is the case with most CVU soccer players, Kingston began playing the sport while in elementary school. “I started playing soccer through the rec department when I was a kindergartener at the Charlotte Central School. My older sisters played soccer, and I just followed in their footsteps.” During middle school, Kingston started playing year-round for the Far Post Soccer Club where she continues on its roster to this day.
“Mackenzie is a natural leader,” coach Williams answered in response to a question. While Kingston felt her strengths as captain were two-fold, “I’m loud and approachable. I’m pretty strong vocally on the field, and I’m easy to talk to about anything.”
A three-year varsity player and senior captain, Kingston admits to one personal ritual before every game. “There are two or three songs that I must listen to before a game. And I listen to those tunes very loud so I can focus.” A perfect 16-0 this season, Kingston and the girls soccer team look primed for another state championship.
A four-year varsity tennis player, Kingston is involved in Key Club, the largest community service club at CVU, enjoys downhill skiing for recreation, and is gainfully employed at the Old Lantern for special events.
As for next year, Kingston is pursing soccer at the next level. “Playing college soccer is a priority for me,” she said. “I’m officially talking with coaches at Connecticut College and am taking a good look at Colby College, Bowdoin College, Middlebury College, and UVM. I’m keeping all my options open.” Looking ahead–if Kingston’s college experience is anything like her soccer playing days, it will be a highly successful four years.