ESPNBoston.com and its High School section today announced that Mac Steeves, senior striker of the Needham Rockets, is the recipient of its first-ever "Mr. Soccer" award, which will be presented annually to the top high school soccer player in Massachusetts.
The Mr. Soccer award winner was chosen by a panel of experts made up of ESPNBoston.com staff and correspondents. Steeves will be presented the award at a later date.
“Mac was the best player on the best team in the state,” ESPN Boston High Schools soccer correspondent Josh Perry said. “He has great touch for someone his size, a powerful shot and surprising quickness when taking on defenders. Not to mention, he was pretty handy as a defensive midfielder when Needham was protecting a late lead.”
Steeves, a four-year varsity starter, capped his prolific high school career with a strong run in the Rockets’ MIAA Division 1 state championship season. The All-American was named the MIAA tournament’s MVP, matching his father Jay’s accomplishment in 1983. He will play soccer at Providence College next year.
For his career, Steeves finished as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 67 goals and 51 assists for 118 points after a 20-goal, 25-assist season in 2012.
But, according to legendary Rockets head coach Don Brock, what made Steeves so dynamic in his Needham career was his ability to play multiple positions.
“Many times during the year and through the tournament, we gave him the green light to move back and play defense, like he did against Somerville and Amherst [state championship match] in the final eight minutes,” said Brock, who completed his 45th year with the program this year. “I’ll probably never have another player quite like him.”
Those aren’t the only attributes which made Steeves special in Brock’s eyes.
“Of all the key things about him, the best is that he was supposed to play academy and he chose to play high school,” Brock said. “Thank god for us he chose to do that. Without him, we don’t win the state championship without him scoring the last three goals.”