La Quinta, CA
Every Thursday we showcase our My Thai High School Athlete Of The Week. This week it’s La Quinta Blackhawk goal keeper Nicole Maler.
And we’re not sure what’s more impressive: the way she uses her head in the classroom, boasting a 4.5 GPA, or the strength in her hands on the soccer field.
Some might say the life of a goal keeper for one of the top soccer programs in the valley, is is a lonely one, but LQHS star keeper Nicole Maler doesn’t see it that way.
"It’s a pretty big responsibility," she tells KMIR Sports. "I always have to be on my game, I always have to be focused because. I don’t know when a ball is going to be sent back to me. There’s always pressure. I’m always ready for a shot and it’s completely nerve wracking the entire time because I never know what’s going to happen, it’s completely intense."
But Maler says the intensity is worth it because she knew playing at La Quinta meant high standards as the Blackhawks are one game shy of clinching their 5th consecutive DVL title.
"People see our success and they want to contribute to it," say Maler. "They don’t want our legacy to go down and everyone comes to our school knowing that there’s something to live up to."
And when she’s not pitching a shut out for her Blackhawks or her club team with Desert United, it’s not surprising to find out she still enjoys using her hands.
"This sounds weird, but I love my ceramics class," Maler says laughing. "It’s like my favorite thing to do… I love sculpting things…It keeps my hands strong…"
And she’s thinking of employing those strong hands in her future profession as a chiropractor.
And while Maler’s talent and intensity are unquestionable, there were questions when she discussed her pick for favorite movie.
"The game plan… With The Rock Johnson. That’s the best movie there is."