Playing multiple sports at a young age has helped redshirt senior co-captain midfielder Megan Pedro understand what hard work and dedication means to get to where she is at.
“One of the biggest things I learned was respecting my coaches and having self-discipline,” Pedro said. “If I did not do those things, then I would have to go home and deal with my father [Tim] all of the time.”
Pedro was born in Fort Wayne, Ind. on Nov. 25, 1990 and is the second oldest of six siblings: Joey, Jonathan, Amanda, Becky and Hannah.
At the age of six, she began to learn the game of soccer by playing for pee-wee teams and managing to work her way up through various recruiting tournaments.
Pedro attended two high schools— Bishop Lewis and Canterbury, where she played soccer and basketball for all four years and was equally gifted in both sports.
“I think I am in the same boat as Cara [Cutaia] where I probably could or should have pursued a basketball career over soccer,” Pedro said.
“However, I wanted to kind of break away. My dad is a basketball coach and all of my siblings played the sport. I wanted to get away from it and defy the trend to play soccer.”
Pedro considered going to Florida Southern University, but decided on EMU because of the family atmosphere that is embraced by the coaching staff.
“The coaches [Scott Hall and Joe Malachino] made this a more personal experience and you are not seen as just another player,” she said. “Being a part of this team is bigger than just playing soccer and going to school, it is a family. We become really close and form strong relationships that carry on beyond Eastern.”
Making the adjustment from Fort Wayne to Ypsilanti was not hard for Pedro herself, but the bigger battle was having to be the one to help her roommates senior Cara Cutaia. former captain Jessica Thomas and current redshirt junior midfielder Chelsie Oddan, who are all from Canada.
“Trying to help them adjust was an interesting thing because they all had different grammar,” Pedro said. “I remember my freshman year, they did not know what a spork was. Also, they had different eating habits, different trends and mannerisms. It was more fun than difficult and they have me now speaking the word pardon.”
Currently double majoring in international business marketing and Spanish, Pedro has taken the challenge in good stride.
Pedro is on track to graduate in December and is looking for a job involving marketing, advertising or media relations that will allow her to travel around the world.
This past spring, she interned with Vera Bradley back in her hometown.
“Their headquarters are there and I am just kind of seeing there advertising and magazine catalogues,” Pedro said.
The balance of being a full-time athlete and student was a flawless transition since her freshman year.
“It has been a smooth transition coming out of high school, but it was something that I buckled down in and always took more than just the full load because I love my double major, that I would take 18-20 credits, rather than 12-15,” Pedro said.
“Time management was probably the biggest thing I had to learn, because that would be the key to my success.”
Unlike most of her family members, Pedro is a vegetarian, but admits most of the products consumed are snack foods.
“When I was younger, I never really ate meat,” Pedro said.
“My mom [Kathy] made me eat chicken and I also tried steak twice and threw up each time. It is not like I am an animal rights activist as I am willing to go hunting, but I do not like the taste of meat.
As a vegetarian, I have terrible eating habits as I live off of candy and junk food.”
If she had to pick a favorite athlete, it would be Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
“I was a bigger fan of him two years ago [played for Indianapolis], but even though he left and went to Denver, I still like him as an athlete,” Pedro said.
Pedro’s brothers and sisters are her biggest influences because of the economic hardship they dealt with growing up.
“It was not so much of them being my role model, it was what I had to do to be theirs,” Pedro said.
“We did not have the easiest of settings growing up being one of six kids, our parents had to stretch their dollar a little bit further. It got hard at times, but knowing if I did what I have done now, I could help them and use it as motivation.”
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @EasternEchoGeno.