The mission for Macey Bosley was straightforward. The South Aiken senior wanted to find a Division I college in South Carolina where she could continue to play soccer while working toward a degree that would allow her to pursue a job in the medical field.

Although there were viable options – including Presbyterian and Furman – Bosley ultimately decided Winthrop University was the perfect fit. On Friday, she was surrounded by family, friends as well as members of South Aiken High School’s faculty and administration when she signed her letter of intent to attend the Rock Hill school and play for the Eagles.

“I went to Winthrop, and I loved it,” Bosley said of her official visit. “I know one of the assistant coaches and got to know the head coach and I like them. I want to get along with a coach where I’m going to go to college and enjoy it. At Winthrop, I do. And when I toured the campus, I knew it’s where I wanted to go.”

Bosley has been a vital cog to South Aiken’s defense the past few years on teams that have been rated regularly among the very best in the Palmetto State. She was recognized as an All-Region 5-AAAA player last season and her coach – David Mihoulides – believes she could be all-state this season.

“She brings a lot of intangibles,” Mihoulides said. “She’s a hard worker, charismatic and solidifies our back line.”

Bosley has played almost exclusively on the Thoroughbreds’ defense, but expects to log time as a midfielder this season. It’s something she’s already been working on over the summer and for club teams. Her versatility could also benefit her in college.

“I was recruited as a center back, but that could change,” said Bosley, who wants to get playing time as a freshman, hopefully starting. “It’s going to take a lot of work, college is a whole other level. But I hope to see some minutes.”

According to Mihoulides, Bosley will boost the Eagles regardless of which position she plays.

“She’s strong anywhere you put her. She’s a great leader and innately knows the game,” he said, adding she’s more than just a good athlete. “She’s a great all-around kid and a great student.”

Bosley’s success in the classroom is reflected by her standing as 13th in her class. She said she’s a straight-A student and that work in the classroom will come before any athletic endeavors.

“I’m going to be involved in more than athletics,” said Bosley, who plans to seek a degree in biochemistry with the goal of getting a job in the medical field. “My main focus is to be a student, then an athlete.”

Noah Feit is the sports editor for the Aiken Standard and has been a professional journalist for more than a dozen years after graduating from Syracuse University.