Soccer, track, BioE studies keep standout goalie on her toes, but she wouldn’t have it any other way

Bioengineering student and multi-sport athlete Miranda Royds ’21 has a daily ritual that helps her maintain perspective and keeps her upbeat.

"I have a journal and at the end of every day, I think about three things I'm grateful for," she says. "It could be little things, but it keeps you in the right mindset and helps you realize that even if you had a bad day, it wasn't that bad."

Whether Royds has a good or bad day, her mentality—"everything is a learning experience"— keeps her grounded and allows for continued growth in all aspects of life.

Now in her third year at Lehigh, Royds, who hails from Ambler, Pa., has developed into a standout goalkeeper on the soccer field, while excelling on the track as well.

"Lehigh is a special place that promotes extensive collaboration to make it possible for our student-athletes to excel in multiple pursuits if they desire,” says assistant track and field coach Deb Utesch. “I have a great working relationship with [head women’s soccer coach] Eric Lambinus. We have worked together to create an environment where these multidimensional student-athletes can pursue both sports with their academics."

On the soccer field, Royds went from not seeing action as a freshman to starting 11 games as a sophomore (and posting very solid numbers). She started all 18 games as a junior and posted an 84.9 save percentage and 0.82 goals against average (second and third in the Patriot League, respectively).

"Miranda's teammates trust her because they all know she's put in the work to become the best version of herself," says Lambinus. "When they saw how much she improved last spring because of her work, it was easy to trust that Miranda was going to play with confidence and consistency. For the goalkeeping position, consistency is probably the most important trait a player can display and once she showed that consistency throughout the entire spring season, we all knew Miranda was ready to take on a bigger role for our team." 

On the track, Royds primarily runs middle distance such as the mile and 3K. One of her outdoor events is the steeplechase.

"The steeplechase is the distance event that requires a higher level of athleticism and kinetic awareness that she brought from her soccer background," says Utesch. "She only picked up this event as a college freshman and has already become a Patriot League scorer."

Every spring semester Royd’s life becomes especially busy as she balances her academics, in-season track, and spring soccer.

"Miranda has to communicate on a regular basis with two sets of coaches—sharing practice and competition schedules—and then be organized enough to schedule a full recovery day," says Utesch. "On top of that, she needs to be organized with her academics and work consistently with professors to be sure she's absorbing all her engineering material."

"Being in the engineering school, I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's easy,” says Royds, who is studying the materials and mechanics track within her bioengineering curriculum. “I've learned a lot as an engineer. I've learned to problem solve, which should translate in a number of aspects in my life."  

Over the summer, Royds served as a project engineer intern at ABEC, a company at the forefront of innovation in biopharmaceutical manufacturing technology.

"I worked with bioreactors and very technical things within the biopharmaceutical industry," she says. "I could see myself working in technical sales and working with people."

Royds understands the importance of people and relationships. In fact, appreciation of others is often what she writes about in her journal.

"I have a lot of gratitude for the people around me," she says. "I often wonder if I'm spreading myself too thin, but at the end of the day, I wouldn't do anything differently.

"I'm offered so many opportunities here. If people didn't help make that happen, I wouldn't be sitting here in front of you today."

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Story by Justin Lafleur, Lehigh Sports Communications

Miranda Royds
Miranda Royds
This past year, I was able to find success knowing that since I'm older, I needed to be that example for the younger girls to keep raising the standard of the program while bringing my teammates along with me. That's what upperclassmen did when I was a freshman, so I wanted to give back.
Bioengineering student and multi-sport athlete Miranda Royds ’21