Women’s soccer senior defender, Sara Magno, has lead defense on her soccer team since she was in high school. However, her main goal when she graduates is to defend her country. Magno said, “It’s just kind of a family thing” and something she’s also been thinking about since high school. “I talked to a recruiting officer, and they said, ‘we can really make this work with your busy schedule’ and I was surprised by that”. It wasn’t until after Magno transferred to state that she finally decided to make the jump into the ROTC Program.
Her coaches support and encouragement made it easier for Magno to make the decision, saying “I told Coach G about it and she was really excited for me and she knew that this was really where I wanted to go with my future and so she really pushed me to do it. If I wouldn’t have transferred here, I really wouldn’t have had that opportunity.”
Head Coach Gretta Arvesen said “I believe it’s our role to allow women and help young women learn and grow as leaders in their chosen fields. I think their time at St. Cloud State is meant to discover what their career is going to be and how they’re going to become a leader in it. This opportunity for her [Magno] was something she was extremely passionate about and with that passion, if that’s something she really wants to do, why would I limit her from an opportunity that will help her.”
Magno signed up with the ROTC Program in November of 2017 but her passion for defending her country comes from family roots. “My Grandfather was drafted into the Marine Core in World War II, my brother is active duty right now and I come from a family of police officers and my dad is a captain. That kind of discipline and rigidity is in our blood. It was just something
we all felt the need to do something bigger than us.” Magno went to a 10-week basic training over this past summer.
The relentless basic training however, wasn’t a shock for a natural soccer player like Magno who learned discipline on the field. “Soccer made it a lot easier, especially for basic training. I came in and was already in shape so I was already ahead of probably two-thirds of the people there” she said.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going and that’s something that the Army really values. “When you’re face first in a sand pit and you’re kinda crawling through and it’s dark out and you’re like ‘ugh, I really don’t want to do this anymore’ it’s that little voice in your head that’s like ‘you’re almost done, keep going.”
Magno’s leadership on the soccer field and in the Army continues to grow through her experiences. When she completes the program she wants to be branched off into a medical area and be an active duty officer. “This is my job training, I’m training to become an officer in the United States Army. For most athletes, in college, at some point you’re going to have to hang up your cleats and be done. Yeah it spreads my time a little thin, but at the end of the day they [coaches] knew this was going to make me successful as a person, and not just an athlete” she said.
This is Magno’s last season with the women’s soccer team but she will continue her education at St. Cloud State to finish her training with the ROTC Program.