When it comes to offense, Marissa Everett is Oregon soccer’s resident expert on the matter.
A Canyon Lake, California, native i a junior and she has been a force for Oregon since her freshman season, which saw her score a team-leading four goals. While that number dropped to a single goal in her sophomore season, she still led the team with five assists.
Everett is currently in the midst of a stellar season, and she leads the Ducks with five goals and four assists on the season, which include two multi-goal games. She ranks sixth in program history with five game-winning goals throughout her career, and she also holds the eighth-place spot for shots with 111.
For Ducks head coach Kat Mertz, Everett’s standout performance is hardly surprising.
“That’s the Marissa we know,” Mertz said after Everett’s two-goal game against Kansas State on Aug. 20. “For her, it’s just going out there and having fun. That’s the biggest component for her. When she’s enjoying it, having fun with her teammates, she really shines on the field.”
In Everett’s eyes, her success comes in large part from hard work.
“I think it’s been going the extra mile after practice,” Everett said. “I’ve been staying, practicing my shots and everything. So it’s just increased confidence and the mentality to go to goal.”
Everett’s father, Donald, is used to that kind of drive from his daughter.
“Marissa always strives to be the best she can be, even when the game is tough,” Donald said. “She’s always pushing to get the best touches she can.”
The other key factor in Everett’s standout campaign is her teammates.
While some forwards in soccer are known for focusing on scoring for themselves, Everett places the needs of the team above her own glory. She does not see herself as a forward; instead, she says she views herself as a winger.
It’s something her father says she learned playing on the star-studded Southern California Blues club team.
“She likes being behind the scenes,” Donald said. “She knows the ball will come, and she’ll do whatever it takes to win.”
While she’s typically played with fellow junior forward Kyra Fawcett in past seasons, the Ducks’ second leading scorer, injuries to Fawcett force Everett to play more frequently with Idaho transfer and Eugene native Emma Eddy.
While learning to work with a new teammate might present a daunting task for some, it seems to be right in Everett’s wheelhouse.
“It’s about knowing your players,” said Everett said. “Watching what they do in practice, knowing their tendencies … It’s bouncing off what they give me, and reading them.”
Everett also credits Oregon’s defense for constantly challenging her in practice. She says that the Ducks’ back line is as strong as any she’ll face in Pac-12 play, setting up the perfect practice environment for her to thrive.
Moving forward, the path is clear to Everett.
“We have the mentality. We have the goal, the purpose,” Everett said. “So it’s just all about executing when we get those chances.”
Follow Aaron Alter on Twitter @Butler917