By: Nick Bernal
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Seemingly from the moment Nikki Marshall stepped on the soccer field at the
She wasted no time living up to the lofty expectations that accompanied her to
Entering her junior season,
“Personally, I’d really like to break the scoring record, but I really want to have more assists this year,” said Marshall, who has 30 career goals. “To me it’s not about shots because I don’t want to be seen as just a goal scorer, but an all-around player."
"Katie Griffin has the (goal-scoring record, 32) and I was able to play with her, as she was a senior when I was a freshman," noted Marshall. " It’s cool to be in a position to break her record because I always looked up to Katie and wanted to be like her."
“That being said, all of my real goals this year are team goals. I know that they can go far in the NCAA Tournament this year, and I think we have a great chance of winning the Big 12 Conference. I think that this team can make it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tourney this year, we can be the 'Cinderella team' -like USC was last year. I have high hopes for the team and I know my teammates feel the same way.”
If the Buffs make a post-season run, it will be without
This past summer
“The whole experience was great,”
Her national team experience was valuable during a “slow” start - two goals and an assist in the season’s first five games.
“My confidence is a little shot right now because I’m not playing that great, but knowing that I played every minute for the 20’s (US Under-20 National Team) over the summer and contributed is a huge boost,”
Moving between forward and defender is challenging but something that
“Playing forward is more of a light hearted position, if you will, because there is not as much pressure on you - like there is when you’re playing at defender.”
“I don’t really prefer one (position) over the other,” said Marshall, the owner of 30 school, conference, regional and national awards. “But, I think everyone likes forward more because it’s the ‘cooler’ position, you get to score goals and you receive more recognition for your play. But now that I’ve played center back, I have a new found respect for the girls that play back there. I know how difficult it is, and how much focus and effort you have to play with to play back their successfully.”
“Honestly, I feel like the assists are the big deal on my goals - especially this season,”
Based on her two seasons at
“I think we’re going to have a great season this year,”
“You combine that with the fact that we are returning basically all of our starters from last season - all of them except the two seniors that graduated, and that is why I think the team is going to have a great season.”
The Buffs, 5-1-1 overall and 1-0 in Big 12, host the Colorado Soccer Classic this weekend before moving into the heart of their conference schedule on Friday Sept. 26 when they host