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United As Seawolves: Skyler Mackey and Jordyn Klapper

United As Seawolves is a season-long project that, each week, will feature two members of the Stony Brook women's soccer team. The series will take a deeper look into the unique coming together of 26 student-athletes from all over the country and the world, looking into how their journey to and through Stony Brook has impacted their lives. For senior Jordyn Klapper and redshirt junior Skyler Mackey, it was the path less traveled that led them to their perfect fit for their collegiate experiences. Both attended and competed for America East schools before arriving at Stony Brook, and as one returned home, the other left home for the first time looking for a fresh start. Jordyn arrived home on Long Island after a year at Vermont and was welcomed with a sense of familiarity. She had known Stony Brook head coach Brendan Faherty from his time at UMass as an assistant coach, and she had previously played with a few members of the Stony Brook team. Skyler, a Washington, D.C., native, spent a year-and-a-half at UMBC before venturing out to continue her athletic and academic careers elsewhere. Although the pair may have been the only people left on campus when Skyler came to visit at the end of the fall semester, the day they spent on the snowy, calm Stony Brook campus was an impactful one. The effort Jordyn made to be there for her future teammate that December day and the similarities they discovered in each other were the convincing Skyler needed to commit to the Seawolves. They laugh as they run through the list of similar experiences they have had and top it off with the fact that they currently have all of their classes together. Although they have gone through things at different points in their lives, they understand each other. They know what it's like to fight through injuries and recovery, to essentially relive freshman year and learn about new teammates, new play and earn time all over again. They recognize the uneasy feeling knowing they have to face their old teammates and coaches at least once a season in league play, and find comfort in having someone so close to them that gets it, no explanation needed. Despite the difficulties, neither has ever questioned their decision. They gush about their teammates and the genuine relationships they all have with each other. The pair mentions a team day at former teammate Sam Goodwin's family's home as a big moment when they knew they had come to the right place. The whole team spent the day together and, as tradition, played a game where one person wears headphones and sings out loud with no music playing. It takes a great amount of confidence and vulnerability to do, but everyone wholeheartedly enjoyed every second of it. It was a truly impactful moment for each of them as they watched, and even participated in the activity. To be able to get up in front of everyone simply because your teammates asked you to and, by the end of it, brush off that level of embarrassment takes being surrounded by a very special, respectful and close-knit group. On brand for this 2018 squad, Jordyn and Skyler add a different perspective to this team, especially when it comes to upperclassman leadership and experience. As the pair continues through their first season playing together they are confident. Confident in their decisions, in their teammates and in the future of this team.

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