Belmont Abbey soccer player dies after collapsing at practice

An incoming freshman soccer player at Belmont Abbey College died Friday after collapsing nearly a week earlier during practice, a spokesman for the college said Sunday.

Michael McGuire, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Bartlett, Tenn., had been practicing for about 20 minutes with some of his teammates on Aug. 16 when he collapsed, said Belmont Abbey marketing director Rolando Rivas.

The practice was supervised by an athletic trainer, and there was “all the right equipment” available to players, including water, Rivas said.

“The doctors were baffled,” he said. “It’s still unclear exactly what the final cause was. We expect the doctors will make some sort of judgment.”

Belmont Abbey held a vigil for McGuire on Friday night at the basilica on campus. The college is expected to have a public Mass in memory of McGuire at 5 p.m. Monday at the basilica, 100 Belmont-Mount Holly Road in Belmont.

Flags are also expected to remain at half-staff around campus throughout the week, Rivas said.

“He was only there for a short time, but he made fast friends with his roommate and the team,” Rivas said, noting that soccer players arrived in early August to start practicing.

McGuire graduated from St. Benedict at Auburndale High School in Tennessee.

“The family asks for privacy as they mourn their loss,” the college said in a statement. “We are praying for Michael and his family.”