2023 Daily Leader All-Area Girls’ Soccer — Most Valuable Player, Loyd Star’s McCurley

Published 8:59 am Wednesday, April 12, 2023

In many ways, soccer is still a young sport in southwest Mississippi. There has never been a state champion, public or private, from this part of the state.

The sport saw its popularity start to grow in the late 90s in some places, but there are other schools in the area that didn’t begin playing until the last decade.

The players of today are making the history of tomorrow when it comes to soccer in southwest Mississippi and the named Mary Claire McCurley is one that will be remembered for years to come.

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For her outstanding play as a senior this season at Loyd Star, McCurley has been named The Daily Leader All-Area Girls’ Soccer Most Valuable Player. It’s the third straight season for McCurley to take home the honor.

McCurley has a natural gift for getting the ball into he back of the net. She led Loyd Star (18-4) with 35 goals this season while also being in on 14 assists.

A Southwest Mississippi CC signee, McCurley has won numerous accolades during her career including being named Region 7-Class I MVP.

She ends her high school career with 131 goals scored.

McCurley announced her presence as a sophomore by scoring 32 goals for a 13-5 Loyd Star team. The Hornets missed the postseason that year as the third placed team in the region.

Last season, she scored a career best 39 times in leading Loyd Star to a 17-5 record and the first playoff win in program history.

Fittingly, McCurley ended her career by  helping to get Loyd Star to somewhere it had never been this season, the MHSAA Class I quarterfinals.

Loyd Star coach Jordan Lea will tell you that McCurley faced plenty of opponents that were bigger, faster and stronger than her.

It’s her inner drive, her competitiveness to get to the ball first and to make something happen with it on her foot, that sets McCurley apart and goes towards explaining her unmatched success at scoring goals for Loyd Star soccer.