Mia Gagnon, center, midfielder for the Port Angeles Roughriders girls soccer team, is joined by her teammates while announcing her intent to play soccer for Bellevue College. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula Daily News)

Mia Gagnon, center, midfielder for the Port Angeles Roughriders girls soccer team, is joined by her teammates while announcing her intent to play soccer for Bellevue College. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula Daily News)

GIRLS SOCCER: Roughriders’ Mia Gagnon moving on to the big city

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles’ Mia Gagnon came in to the Port Angeles girls soccer program with a bang, according to her high school coach.

She leaves the program as the latest college signee.

Gagnon, primarily a midfielder for the Roughriders, is signing to play with Bellevue College, a member of the Northwest Athletic Conference. She’s one of several members of a program that won three straight Olympic 2A League championships to move on to college programs.

She wasn’t a huge scorer for the Riders, but her coach Scott Moseley said “she burst on the scene with five goals as a freshman.” She later settled into a role as a defensive midfielder, but Moseley said she was the best dribbler on the team and the most skilled on the team with her feet.

“Everyone on this team has been nutmegged by Mia in practice,” Moseley said, bringing a laugh from Gagnon’s teammates.

A nutmeg is when a soccer player shoots or passes a ball through another player’s legs. It takes a tremendous amount of skill.

“In 2019, she clinched a league title by nutmegging the keeper,” Moseley added.

Moseley said Gagnon is a good lesson in “self-recruiting,” when an athlete goes out of their way to connect their sports to what they’re looking for in an education.

Gagnon said she is interested in studying pre-medicine at Bellevue. She considers this a huge accomplishment.

“I’m the first person in my family going to play sports in college,” she said.

Gagnon said Bellevue is obviously a big city and much different from Port Angeles, but felt it was a perfect move for her.

“I really like the diversity of the players and I like the area,” Gagnon said. “I’m excited for the big city.”

Unlike a lot of Roughrider athletes, Gagnon specializes in one sport, soccer. She had cousins who played the game and she picked it up very young. She’s also looking forward to continuing to see and play against many of her Roughrider teammates, who are sprinkled on teams throughout the NWAC.

“It’ll be exciting to see how they’ve all gotten better,” she said.

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