Madison Guy prides herself on being able to see what is developing in front of her.
So it should come as no surprise that for a long time, Guy has seen soccer in her future.
“I am good at reading the game, seeing what is in front of me,” Guy explained.
“(And) I knew I wanted to take it somewhere.”
And where the game has taken her is from Langley and to UBC, one of the country’s perennial women’s soccer programs, with an overseas stop in between.
Guy spent just over a week with the Irish U19 women’s national team in August, playing in two friendlies for the country in Scotland.
“It is a really cool experience because my family is from there,” she explained.
“And I go to see them, which is really nice.”
All of her mother’s side of the family — aunts, uncles and cousins — live in Ireland.
This was Guy’s second time with the Irish side, having also gone in January.
Eligible to play for Ireland, her maternal grandmother is from there, Guy had contacted the national team as a way to gain some international experience.
Her play must have left an impression as she was given the invitation for the August friendlies.
Her trip required her to miss part of the UBC training camp, but now that she is back, her focus is squarely on helping the Thunderbirds.
“I’m looking forward to stepping into a new environment that I know will be challenging and achieving the ultimate goal of winning a national championship in the (Canadian Interuniversity Sport),” she said about playing for the Thunderbirds.
“I couldn’t be more excited.”
The feeling is mutual.
“I am a big fan of Maddie’s,” said UBC coach Mark Rogers.
“Her attitude is an example for her teammates and she is real tough-tackling, hard working kid with real underrated technical ability as well.”
Guy, who turns 18 (Oct. 25) later this month and graduated from Brookswood Secondary in June, has been playing soccer for a dozen years.
“When I was little, I just loved the game,” she said, explaining that her parents tried her in a couple of different sports, none of which kept her attention.
“As soon as I started to play soccer, I couldn’t stop,” she said.
“I would go outside everyday and kick the ball around.”
Guy played for the first six years in Langley, before switching to Surrey at about age 13.
It was around this time that Guy realized the sport could take her places.
“I knew I wanted to take it somewhere,” she said.
From 2007 to 2010, Guy was part of the B.C. provincial team — and served as captain — as well as attending the national training centre.
It was here she was first coached by Rogers about five years ago.
“She is a lot of fun to coach because she gives her all every time she goes out there,” he said.
“Obviously at this level, you have to have more than just attitude, you have to have ability.
“She is not just a hard worker but a good soccer player as well. What makes her special is her commitment to training and the game.”
She also played for the Whitecaps FC Prospects and then played with UBC’s entry in the Pacific Coast Soccer League over the summer.
Now she finds herself playing with UBC, which she calls the perfect fit.
“I chose UBC because it had everything I was looking for in a university,” Guy said, pointing out it is a top academic school as well as a perennial national power in women’s soccer.
It also helped that it was close to home in Langley.
As for the jump to university soccer, where she can be matched up to girls four and five years her senior, Guy feels her time with the Whitecaps program will be a boon.
“It will be a challenge but I am pretty confident and I’m ready to work hard,” she said.
While the sample size is still small, Rogers likes what he sees out of the freshman midfielder, who has started three of the nine games so far for UBC as they have a 6-1-2 record and have qualified for the Canada West playoffs, which begin Oct. 27.
“She has given good minutes to our team as a first year player and contributing very well,” Rogers said.
“For players of that type of attitude and determination, you are looking for opportunities to give them chances with the first team.
“Every time I have given her those chances, she has definitely risen to the occasion.”