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Trusting the Process: Margaret Purce’s Journey to the USWNT Stage by Keira T.

U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) defender Margaret "Midge" Purce is making her mark as a professional soccer player on and off the field.

Margaret Purce, who is now a pro soccer player, quite surprisingly is a Maryland native! She attended Parkland Middle School, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, and then went off to Harvard University for college. When she was younger, she was a multi-sport player, which included karate and figure skating.

Currently, Margaret Purce is on the USWNT team and her club team, Gotham City, where she plays forward. On the USWNT team, she has played in both normal season games and in the SheBelieves Cup. She enjoys the SheBelieves Cup more than regular season games, as it is more special than a regular game. "It’s one of the only tournaments I’ve been in where we play multiple international top 10 teams at the highest level of soccer," describes Purce.

According to Purce, her role on the team changes. "Sometimes I’m a starter," she explains, "sometimes I’m a substitute and sometimes I’ve been injured and my role is to just be supportive. I make sure I’m able to serve every role when the time comes."

Scoring her first goal for the National Team, which is something only a handful of people can say that they have accomplished, has been the biggest highlight of her professional career thus far. Whether a student or a professional athlete, every single person has to overcome challenges to succeed and Margaret Purce is no exception. She has had to overcome “unfair treatment from coaches, injuries, and too many failures to count.”

As her obstacles have changed, so have her role models. Right now, she really admires Becky Sauerbrunn. “She embodies what it means to be a truly kind and selfless person while also competing to the best of her ability everyday,” Purce expresses.

Even though Margaret Purce is a rising star, she is a role model herself. “The best advice I have received is to 'run your own race.' In sports--and in life--it is really easy to get caught up on what other people are doing and comparing yourself to everyone else. Trust the process and focus on being the best you possible every single moment of every day . . . that is the real challenge." She also offers a piece of advice for young players like me wanting to improve their kick or weaker foot: “Find a wall and practice hitting the ball against it to get good technique.”

In addition to soccer, Margaret Purce runs the Black Women’s Player Collective (BWPC), a non-profit, as well as the USWNT’s collective bargaining negotiations.

Purce’s future goal is to win a World Cup and the Olympics, which is an ambitious goal, but one that I think a person of her character could accomplish. Overall, I have learned a lot from Margaret Purce. She has shown me that to be the best I can be, I should focus on myself and not compare myself to others.

“The most important thing to me is being consistently my best. I’m motivated because I know I’m nowhere close to the best I can be,” Purce says.

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