Bishop Foley graduate earns another All-State selection in soccer

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published June 27, 2019

 For the second straight year, Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s Mackenzie Kopf was selected to the Division 4 All-State  first team.

For the second straight year, Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s Mackenzie Kopf was selected to the Division 4 All-State first team.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

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MADISON HEIGHTS — Mackenzie Kopf called it a “wonderful surprise.”

At home in Clawson, the recent Madison Heights Bishop Foley graduate received a text from her soccer coach, Ryan Elchuk.

In it, he told her she had been named as a Division 4 All-State first-team selection. It’s Kopf’s second straight year making the first team.

“I was extremely happy,” Kopf said. “I wouldn’t (have) expected it. … (It’s) incredible to see that I’ve worked my way up. It’s quite an accomplishment, and it’s great to see that I made it among the best of the best.”

As a freshman, Kopf was All-State honorable mention. She followed that up with a second-team honor as a sophomore.

“It’s very rewarding, because I feel like I’ve put forth a lot of effort and devotion into soccer,” she said. “To see that my senior year it’s finally paying off, all the dedication, all the practices, all the wins, all the losses, it’s come down to this. It’s amazing to see that I’m being acknowledged (with) such a great reward.”

Although it takes skill to come away from the season as Foley’s leading scorer with 14 goals, Kopf didn’t earn an All-Catholic, All-District and All-State selection based on talent alone.

“One key is dedication,” she said. “You can have the talent, but it’s a matter of working hard. … I’ve realized that this is what I’ve wanted for a really long time. I love to play the sport. So, I think the love for the game really encouraged me to get where I am.”

Elchuk said Kopf’s ability on the soccer field is “rare.”

“She’s a very special player,” Elchuk said. “Combination of skill and athleticism (is) something I’ve never experienced. … (In) terms of personality and leadership, she’s someone that we relied on heavily.”

Kopf is heading to Michigan State University where she plans to major in political science. She also plans on joining the women’s club soccer team.

The opportunity to both further her education and continue to play soccer is something she has taken time to reflect on.

“I’m very excited that I can balance both,” Kopf said. “Of course, school is a big part of my life, but also playing soccer is something I’ve loved to do.”

While Kopf said she is “extremely excited” to play soccer for Michigan State’s club team, she already has positive experiences that she can draw on from her time playing for Foley.

“I created so many friendships,” Kopf said. “It’s very rewarding to play with people that you love. And also spending time with them, I realize that over the years, this isn’t just about me. I’m not playing for myself individually, I’m playing because I (want to) win with my team. … It’s a great bond to share with them.”

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