McKenna Correia has been trying to be patient as she nurses a knee injury, waiting for a clearance from her doctors to get back out on the field for the Falmouth High School girls’ soccer team. The Clippers want her back just as much as she wants to return because when the senior co-captain is out on the field, the team is simply better.
One of the team’s best distributors of the ball, and a heady player, McKenna is a point guard in the middle of the soccer field for FHS. She sees the field very well and her involvement in an offensive play increases its chances of success. As soon as she’s cleared to go, the already good FHS team will get that much better.
McKenna is a soccer nut from a family full of them. She is the daughter of Nancy and Rui Correia, both of whom have spent countless time both playing and coaching the game over the years. She has six brothers and sisters, three older and three younger.
In school she is an honor roll student, and AP Psychology is her favorite subject. McKenna said that her most-prized possession is a dolphin necklace that her grandparents gave her. “The Way, Way Back” is her favorite movie. Her go-to meal is tacos with a Coke.
How did you get involved with soccer? How much do you enjoy it? What is your role on the team?
I began to be involved with soccer as soon as I could kick a ball. My parents both played their whole lives and passed the love for the game onto me. It is my favorite thing to do, and I even enjoy watching it. My role on the team is to always take a positive outlook on the game, keep the sportsmanship, as well as to keep everyone motivated and communicating.
The Clippers have gotten off to a very strong start to the season. Why do you think that the team has been successful, and what will the team need to do to make a run to the state tournament?
I think this team has been successful so far because of the spirit and talent found within this group of girls. Every single one of us cares for one another and it is just a really great group that we are lucky enough to have who inspire each other and give each other the confidence to play well and hard. The talent and commitment from this group of girls is insane, and so essential to make a strong and gritty team. Also our coaches, Cory Dubuque and Tom Manchester, are just so great and extremely supportive, which means everything to all of us and we are very grateful for them. To make it to the state tournament, I believe we need to keep practicing together to make our chemistry even stronger.
You’ve been injured over the last few games and have not played. How did you get hurt, and what is your prognosis going forward? How tough has it been to be out of the lineup?
My knee began hurting after our game against Nauset and hasn’t quite felt right since, but I did just get an MRI over the weekend and will hopefully get good news soon. It has been extremely tough being out of the lineup. All I want to do is play my final year for Falmouth with the girls I’ve played with since I was young. Although Dubuque has a great line-up out there, and I trust those girls with everything, all I can do right now is be there and support them. I know I will be back on the field soon.
Your father is the head coach at Bourne High School, and you play at Falmouth. How much soccer is talked about at home, and how involved are you in one another’s games?
Soccer is a topic that is constantly talked about more than once, every day. Regardless if it is Bourne or Falmouth being talked about, soccer is a constant in our household. My Dad has been the best coach to me since I was little and will often give me pointers on my game. My Dad has always done his very best to make it to all of my games, but it can be difficult while he also must be with his Bourne players. I haven’t been able to make it to one of his games yet this season, but I definitely will be there to support him.
What do you think a scouting report would say about you?
I believe a scouting report would say that I am a smart player who has a good sense of where to be on the field and where to move the ball, and that I communicate well.
Of all the games that you have ever played in is there one that stands out as the best? Why?
In all the games I’ve ever played, one that stands out best to me is the game we played against Nauset. This stands out to me because for the entire 80 minutes every single player just fought real hard, on both teams. We had two of our starting defenders out, but we still fought hard. I was very proud of my team that day, even though we lost 1-0 on a penalty kick. I play with many of these girls that are players from Nauset on my club team; they are phenomenal players and I always look forward to playing them.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
The highlight of my athletic career so far would probably be my first goal I scored on varsity during my sophomore year. I just remember feeling the gratitude and love for the game with my teammates then, and it was just great because I felt like a part of the team for the first time.
Who is the best teammate that you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
The best teammate I’ve ever played with is Mia Cavossa. She stands out for countless reasons, not only because she has the same love and heart for the game as I do, but because she and I have played together for years. She is probably the player I’ve played with the most on any team, or behind the scenes practicing in our backyards. We have great chemistry on the field because we played both for the town’s team since we were little girls and club soccer together since we were 12. She is my favorite person to play with and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
The only really superstitious thing I have related to sports is that I have always played club soccer with the number 10, and on varsity I have always played with the number 3; these are both family numbers.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
The most important thing I’ve learned from playing sports has been that if you want something, you have to work really hard for it. Nothing is ever handed out to you and you have to be the one really pushing yourself. Although, it does take courage in accepting help to improve from others.
If you could have one super power, what would it be? Why?
If I could have one superpower, it would be to fly because it seems so incredible to look at how everything seems so tiny from far away. Getting that perspective would be really revealing, since, most times, we see everything so differently, but if you get that perspective, then you’d see that everything is not always as big a deal as it seems.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents for everything they’ve done to make me the player I am. I’d also like to thank my entire team, my coach, Cory Dubuque, and my club soccer coach, Kevin Greene. Every one of these people have only made me love this game even more over the years and for that I am beyond thankful.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Is there somewhere in the world that you’ve always dreamed of visiting? Why?
The most interesting place I’ve ever visited has to be the Azores. It is where my father and his whole family are from and it was an amazing and beautiful experience especially to be able to see where my family is from. It was the best experience I could have asked for and I am very grateful to my family for the opportunity. I’ve always dreamed of visiting Italy because I’ve heard great things about the place and the people, and I might have the chance to be able to visit soon.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
The biggest difference between me as a senior and me as a freshmen would have to be my confidence and my view of the game. I see the sport a lot different than I do now in terms of what it means to a lot of different girls. This is a lot more than just a sport, it is a way to make friends and inspire others. Knowing this now makes me a happier and more positive individual around the players, which I think influences the confidence of our whole team.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
People would be surprised to learn that I am the exact middle child of seven children.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
If I could switch places with someone for a week, it would be with Carli Lloyd, because I’ve looked up to her ever since I was little. I remember being little and just sitting on the floor of my living room, looking up at the TV watching her play. I told myself I wanted to be just like her and if I could I would practice and play soccer as her for that week. It would be really cool to see how hard she works and how much of a team player she is.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
My idea of the perfect day is waking up early enough to have a boat day with my extended family on the Vineyard or Tashmoo. My grandfather has always had a boat since before I was born. We’d start the day off by packing lunches, sunscreen, and gathering all the life jackets onto the boat. It has always been my favorite thing to spend my time doing.
What are your post-high school plans?
My post-high school plans are to attend a four-year college, either for psychology or child development, maybe even both.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself as a college graduate working in a field with psychology and children. I’m unsure of where I’d live, but I will definitely visit Falmouth and the Cape often.