Beyond the Game: Maddie Nichols

By: 

Sports Reporter

Photo by: 

The Texas State soccer team cleared the bench and huddled together in celebration of its overtime win in the Sun Belt Championship quarterfinal against the Troy Trojans.

In the center of her teammates’ scrum stood Maddie Nichols, sophomore midfielder.

Tori Hale, senior forward, played the corner kick to Nichols as she floated the ball into the upper left corner of the Trojans’ goal.

Troy was devastated. Some Trojans walked away with their hands on their hips, while others crumpled to the ground.

“It was an even game, but as we went to overtime everyone was exhausted,” Nichols said. “It was the best feeling ever. The whole team rushed out to me, and we all jumped around.”

Nichols led her Cinco Ranch High School team to its first 5A Region III finals appearance in seven years before she was recruited by Texas State.

After scoring 12 goals and 10 assists in her senior season during district play, she was named All-Greater Houston Girls Soccer Athlete of the Year by the Houston Chronicle.

“The Houston area is really good at soccer,” Nichols said. “I mean, the award could have went to anyone, but I was just very lucky, and it’s such an honor. I just worked hard because it is the one thing I can control.”

Nichols’ family played an important role in her soccer career growing up. Nichols’ father, John, was her first coach when she began playing soccer at four years old.

“My wife and I make every home game and try to make it to as many away games as possible,” John said. “We were there when she scored the game-winner. Other parents were high-fiving us as if we scored the goal.”

Maddie’s sister, Allison, shared the field with her younger sister during high school.

While some siblings are competitive at sports, Allison and Maddie were the opposite.

The Nichols sisters’ love for soccer reflected in their games together. Maddie, midfielder, would pass the ball to Allison, forward, as she scored goals during their high school season.

“We never played the same position, so we were never competitive towards each other,” Allison said. “I loved having her play the ball to me, and when I would score off of it, we would call them ‘sister goals.’”

When Nichols isn’t on the field, she is in class or participating in the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

“My Maddie is a really hard worker with a great sense of humor,” John said. “I am extremely proud of her. It is a big commitment to play at this level and maintain the schoolwork, but somehow she manages to do both at a high level.”