With the NWSL College Draft coming up on January 16th, some of the players will arrive with pristine stories as former youth stars and alums of the elite schools in the NCAA. Murray State’s Miyah Watford is just as talented as those players, but she’s had to earn her way to this stage in her budding career.
Watford started her college journey at Samford and only registered one assist and zero goals in her 16 games as a freshman. “When I was at Samford, my first touch on the ball improved, and my work ethic to earn a spot on the field is where it started. I had to work hard to get minutes since I was coming in as a freshman,” Miyah reflected about her single year at Samford. “I moved (to Murray State) because I just didn’t feel like I could see myself at Samford for three more years. It just didn’t feel like a place to call home for me.”
The decision to become a Racer paid off for the Indianapolis native. In 55 matches for Murray State, she scored 31 goals and registered 14 assists. She was named the 2019 OVC Offensive Player of the Year and has her place in the record books for her school, but she holds a high value on the importance of being a part of a team. Miyah said, “As a teammate, I try to push everyone and make them better. I care more about the team aspect of things instead of myself because, at the end of the day, we lose as a team and we win as a team. I just want what is best for the team and the program. The individual accolades are great, but at the end of the day I came to college to win a championship ring and not just one person can do that – it takes a team.”
What does she like best about being part of a unit? “I would say my favorite part is interacting with different personalities and getting to know people on a different level than just soccer. A lot of people grow up differently, and if you just sit down and talk to them and hear their story it’s pretty amazing. When you look and talk to some people, you would never think that some of the things that they went through in their lives actually happened because of how they carry themselves,” she answered.
She will take that team-first attitude to the next level for whichever team is lucky enough to draft her. When asked what that team will be getting, Miyah responded, “Someone who works hard and is eager to learn more. I feel like I’m a great teammate when it comes to cheering people and communicating on the field. I always want to prove myself and let people know I belong on the field. I want to get better, so I’m not afraid to ask what I need to work on. Right now, I’ve been running and trying to get fitter in addition to working on my technical abilities with the ball.”
While every player drafted next week into the top women’s soccer league in the United States is talented, Murray State’s Miyah Watford is a combination of that top-level skill and the work-ethic that helps that ability continue to improve.