Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

June 21, 2013

Orioles duo preparing for leap to DI

By Justin Whitaker

— Two Avon girls are preparing to wrap up their time as Orioles before transitioning to Division I soccer athletes.

Mackenzie Muchow (Butler) and Mikayla Lasky (Purdue) both started as freshmen, were both all-state selections, and now are about to start the next chapter of their lives furthering their education and soccer careers.

Muchow, Avon’s second career-leading scorer, looks forward to being a Bulldog.

 “I’m really excited because there’s going to be a lot of new challenges switching to the Big East,” she said. “I’m excited to meet the girls and work with Tari (St. John, Butler coach). She has a lot of knowledge about the game and experience and I think she’ll make me a much better player than I am now.”

The first-team All-State selection feels she adds an offensive spark for her new team.

“I think I bring a lot of attacking ability and a final surge,” Muchow said. “I like to get in the box and attack and score goals, so I think that’s what I’ll do for the team.”

Lasky, the three-time Avon MVP, knows that playing at Purdue will take quite a commitment.

“It’s going to take a lot of work, on and off the field,” she said. “The conditioning, going from playing in high school to playing with Big Ten athletes … it’s probably going to be a lot tougher.”

Purdue coach Robert Klatte said the 5-foot-8 defender brings tenacity.

“Mikayla is a mobile, tough defender and consistent battler,” he said. “She’s very good in the air — she can both defend set pieces and score goals from them.”

Lasky added, “I communicate very well on the field and I’m pretty good at getting balls out of the air. Just like a defensive aspect for how people should be defending on the field.”

Both girls mentioned anytime they beat Brownsburg as highlights of their 4-year careers at Avon. The duo also highlighted the friendships they built from their time as Orioles.

“I’ve enjoyed it so much,” Lasky said. “It’s a great group of people and a great coaching staff. Some of the girls on the team are some of my best friends. It’s just been a overall great experience.”

Muchow said she enjoyed getting to compete alongside one of her closest friends.

“It was fun to work with one of my best friends, sharing the captain roles,” she said. “It was a lot of responsibility and we know how we interact with each other so we could always lean on each other and lift the team up.”

Lasky echoed those sentiments and said she’ll miss her other teammates as well.

“She’s one of my best friends and I’m really going to miss playing with her and some of the underclassmen on the team and helping them get better and them helping me get better,” she said.

Muchow has yet to choose a major, but said she’s thinking about sports marketing and to hopefully one day work for the NFL. The Butler education will be a great learning experience for her on the field and in the classroom.

 “I’ve heard many people come out of Butler and they always have nice things to say about it,” Muchow said. “I think it will challenge me academically and in soccer.”

Both of Lasky’s parents went to Purdue and an Oriole alum, Jessica Warren (Class of 2009), provided much familiarity to West Lafayette. So Laskey plans on majoring in business and using Warren as a resource.

“She’s very happy that I’m going there,” Lasky said. “It’s kind of like if I have any questions, then I can ask her. It’s nice to know that someone from my position right now got through it too.”

Butler and Purdue are not scheduled to play next season but did play in 2012, so the best friends could meet in the future as opponents.

 “I don’t know, it will probably be really weird to have to play against her,” Lasky laughed.

The four years at AHS have prepared the pair of girls as best as possible for what awaits them in college.

“The experience that I had playing with older girls, challenging myself, being in that atmosphere really prepared me for Butler,” Muchow said. “From now on, I just have to work individually to make sure I’m fit and ready to go and I think Avon did a great job of preparing me.”