Margaret Greenwald first picked up a soccer ball when she was six years old. She fell in love instantly. Greenwald has been playing the game for the past 14 years, and it has impacted her life in ways she never imagined.
Greenwald’s family knew she had a passion for the game from the start, so they signed her up to play for Atlanta Fire United Soccer Club.
“Atlanta Fire is so special to me because they gave me my first start,” Greenwald said. “I met life-long friends there and learned a ton about the game.”
Greenwald stayed with the club until the sixth grade.
After her time at Atlanta Fire, she switched clubs and joined the All-In FC family. Her team was undefeated for two years straight.
“Some of my best memories are at All-In FC,” Greenwald said. “I can’t imagine not having played for the club.”
Once it was time for Greenwald to go to high school, she decided to attend Mountain View High School, which was not in her home district.
She had to drive an extra 30 minutes every day, but she said it was worth it. Greenwald had the opportunity to start on the varsity soccer team her freshman year.
After two years at Mountain View, Greenwald and her family made the decision to transfer her back to her district high school, Collins Hill.
At the time, Mountain View’s soccer program was struggling with coaching issues and management problems. Greenwald said moving programs was the best decision for her.
Greenwald had to sit out a year at Collins Hill for eligibility reasons, but she said she doesn’t regret that.
She got to compete with girls that were going on to play division one soccer at schools like Auburn and UNC-Chapel Hill.
“Playing against great people forced me to step up my game,” she said.
Before Greenwald knew it, she was being recruited by Piedmont College, a small private school in north Georgia. Piedmont College is known for its’ small-town feel and focus on academics.
Greenwald decided to become a Piedmont Lion the summer before her senior year of high school. She said the school’s outstanding reputation in academics and the history of Piedmont’s soccer success drew her in. Piedmont is a member of the NCAA Division III USA South Atheltic Conference.
Now, a junior at the university, Greenwald is studying in the college of education, playing soccer and working part-time. She said being at Piedmont has not only given her a tight-knit soccer family, but has pushed her to grow as a person.
Greenwald said her focus on academics has never been as strong as it is now.
In her free time, which she doesn’t have much of, Greenwald coaches a rec team. She said seeing the joy on the young players’ faces takes her back to her younger days of playing soccer.
“Soccer got me to where I am today,” Greenwald said. “I will forever be thankful for it.”