Interview compiled by Matthew Resnick and Tabatha Bender, Kansas communications student assistants
Sept. 13, 2012
9.13.12 Maggie (Mason) Dixon (Soccer) 2000-03
Maggie (Mason) Dixon of Elmira, Ontario traveled a long way from home to play for Kansas. The Canada native started playing soccer at the age of three and it became a lifestyle for her. Dixon played on her school teams as well as on club teams while growing up. In 2000, she came to Lawrence to play her collegiate soccer career and started 18 matches as a freshman. She not only was successful on the field, but in the classroom as well. She served as the Vice President of the Big 12 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee her senior year and received several other academic honors as well.
Growing up, how did you become interested in your sport?
"I started playing soccer when I was three because that was just one of those things that my parents signed me up for. When my dad started to sponsor my teams I decided to stick with it."
What made you choose to play for the University of Kansas?
"KU had a great mix; the coaches were fantastic, academically they offered a really good opportunity to get a great education, and everyone on the team was all very nice. The Big 12 Conference was a big attraction as well."
Who was your biggest influence or idol growing up?
"Being from Canada I followed both the U.S. and Canadian national soccer teams, but I really followed the U.S. team the most. The player I really liked was Kristine Lilly. She and her teammates were really influential to me growing up and playing soccer."
Do any experiences or matches stand out to you from your time at Kansas?
"It was a good win each time we beat Missouri. I think the biggest win that stands out for me was when we advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2003 and we had to beat Missouri at their house. We ended up going in there and taking them out with a shutout two to nothing."
What are you currently doing?
"I play a lot of indoor and outdoor soccer, along with some Ultimate Frisbee and volleyball. My husband, Shane, and I have one daughter, Amelia. I work part-time as a Director of Operations for a startup company for athletic facilities. I basically help get them established and hire facility managers."
How has your athletic experience helped with your current job?
"It helped teach me resilience. Our team worked closely with a sports psychologist who emphasized the importance of resilience and maintaining balance in our game and in our lives. Learning how to develop resilience allowed me to gain perspective during challenging times and also helped me better understand and manage change in all aspects of my life. On top of that, it helped teach me support and teamwork. I continue to be amazed by the amount of support KU provided me as a student-athlete. The university (professors, administration) and athletic department were always there for me whenever I needed emotional, academic, athletic or social support. The camaraderie and `family environment' at KU is unparalleled. But most importantly, it taught leadership. KU provided me ample opportunities to further nurture and develop effective leadership skills. These invaluable skills helped me identify and promote the strengths of my teammates, and, now, colleagues. To this day, I am grateful for the life skills I learned while at KU and continue to utilize these tools on a daily basis."
How often do you make it back to Lawrence for soccer matches?
"This is actually the first year I've signed up as a season ticket holder. I'm trying to come back for as many matches as possible. The Jayhawks have 15 games at home this year and hopefully I can make it to all of them."
When you played in the Crimson and Blue, was there anyone in particular that you dedicated your games to?
"Our team used to have a saying, `Leave it on the Field.' So every game we used to go out there and play for each other."