Conference Player of the Year Meg Tate ’23 Reflects on Her Dickinson Career


Striker Meg Tate ’23 was deservedly named Centennial Conference offensive player of the year in Women’s Soccer. Tate has been the focal point of the Dickinson attack from her freshman year, scoring 56 goals in three seasons. However, the road to the top of the Centennial Conference wasn’t simple for Tate. 

Tate, who grew up in Carlisle, did not plan on going to Dickinson. “I didn’t have any connections to Dickinson. I went through the recruiting process and the whole time was thinking, I really can’t go to Dickinson, I need to get out of Carlisle. But everything about Dickinson became kinda perfect and I thought I had to seriously consider what it would be like going to school in Carlisle. I don’t feel like I’m at home though. I had concerns, of course, because I’m from Carlisle but it really worked out and I don’t regret it at all.” 

Tate is at the head of a Dickinson class that has provided a lot of success on the field. She talked about the comradery they share. 

“We’re extremely close. The six of us all live in the same building and we spend a lot of time together. It’s been that way since the very beginning. We got extremely close freshman year, starting from the first week of preseason. It’s something I’ve never had before where I’m close with my teammates outside of soccer. This year has been great because we have just been so together,” she said.

Tate, who is known for her goal scoring ability, wasn’t always a striker. “I came in as a midfielder. In my freshman year I played attacking mid. The last two years I really had to work on how to play as a striker and I think last year I struggled some, getting used to the physicality, especially, but I have evolved and improved at that aspect.”

Interestingly, Tate’s most prolific season came before she was a striker. Coach Ted Zingman felt confident about Tate turning into a striker. The two of them worked together, even meeting outside of practice to help the switch be as smooth as possible. 

Tate still keeps some of her attacking midfield traits with her as a striker.

“I’m not a very traditional striker. I morphed striker roles into what I like to do, like making runs in behind the defense. I still try to do what I did as an attacking mid, now just higher up the pitch.”

Tate showed her ability to either be the end product of an attack or a part of a buildup, claiming to have no preference. Sometimes, however, teams put an emphasis on stopping Tate, leaving her alone and without quality service coming to her. This was especially seen in the Johns Hopkins games. 

“It’s been nice this year. It’s been limited where I’ve been all alone. We usually had players who got up the pitch and got under me quickly and gave me a quick outlet if I could hold up the play for a couple seconds.”

Being able to effectively hold up play and use your body to shield off defenders and open up an attack is a key part of a striker’s job, and it is something Tate has worked on and clearly improved on: “I was really not good at it before. This year, there was a switch. I had already felt better at it, but at a practice where that was the focus, it sparked something where I really got comfortable with it.”

The Red Devils had a mixed season. Finishing second in the Centennial Conference and making it to the Conference finals are great achievements, yet Dickinson was not able to make it to the NCAA tournament. Tate reflected on the year. 

“I think we had a great turnaround. We had three 1-0 losses that felt like they could’ve put an end to our season. We had a lot of team meetings and really tried to work out of the lull we thought we were in. And I think we were able to show grit and resilience to be able to turn it around and we showed the potential we had and I think it was a great success story of a season. We did everything we could to get that bid and just because we didn’t get it, it doesn’t take away from the achievement of fighting back the way we did.”

In 2019, Tate and the Red Devils made it to the third round of the NCAA playoffs and Tate scored a whopping 20 goals in 21 games. I was interested in how this year compared, in her mind. 

“In 2019 I was the baby, but I felt so embraced and felt like a respected part of the team. The last two years I really have tried to do the same for everyone else because I truly believe I wouldn’t have played well if I didn’t feel so supported. These past two years have been harder and I think I have a bit of a target on my back because of what I did in 2019. So it was definitely harder but this year was definitely more rewarding. I feel like everything I worked for came true even though we didn’t get a bid. It was a really nice and fulfilling season.”

Meg Tate had a fantastic season. She really put all the sum of her parts together and had a strong, complete season. Tate saw total improvements in many parts of her game and posted, by far, her highest assist numbers. Tate has not made a decision about whether she will use her fifth year of eligibility, but it’s clear she is a huge benefit to the team.