Sept. 15, 2011
For Auburn junior defender Mary Nicholson, coming to the Plains to further her soccer career was an easy decision. The Birmingham, Ala., native had grown up a die-hard Auburn fan and liked the opportunity to play close to home.
"I have family history here at Auburn," Nicholson said. "My dad, my uncles, and my brother all went to Auburn. It is also very close to home, and I liked everything about it."
Nicholson will graduate next year with a degree in nursing and hopes to follow in her grandmother's footsteps. Nicholson relishes the idea of helping people who are in need of care.
"My grandmother was a nurse, and through her stories that she told me when I was a child, I got interested in it," she said. "I like to help people. I want to work in the ER. I like the trauma stuff. I hope that is what I get to go into."
Although Mary has been named a Top Tiger and to the SEC Academic Honor Roll all three years of her career, school hasn't always come easy for her, especially when it comes scheduling clincals during soccer season.
"School is very important to me," the defender said. "It is a struggle though. It sometimes butts heads with soccer. I have had some problems with clinicals, but it has worked out both on the athletic and academic sides. Everyone has worked with me. Time management has definitely been tough, however."
During her days at Vestavia Hills High School, Nicholson lettered in basketball and soccer, until her senior year, when she decided to play soccer full-time because she was given a chance to play soccer collegiately.
"I played basketball a lot up until my senior year of high school," Nicholson said. "I chose soccer over basketball because it was more feasible and I got a scholarship to play soccer."
Nicholson also played for the Birmingham United 90 club team with current Tiger Katy Frierson. The duo help lead BUSA to the 2007 Alabama State Champion and the 2007 Region III Central Premier League Championship.
"It was interesting," she said. "Katy is very sarcastic, and we are more of friends now than when we were when we played club soccer."
Nicholson believes that being able to play with Frierson prior to coming to Auburn has helped them immensely here at Auburn. Last year, Nicholson had the first assist on Katy Frierson's game-winning goal in the 4-0 win over Tennessee Tech to start the season.
"It has had a huge impact because I know how she plays and what she is good at, which is basically everything," Nicholson claimed. "I can feed off that, which allows us to play a lot better."
Their relationship has not only grown on the field, but off the field as well, as the pair share a great relationship.
"She is one of my best friends, definitely. We have our moments, but it is a love-hate relationship," Nicholson laughed. "Most of the time we love each other. It has been so much fun to have a teammate grow-up with you throughout childhood and being able to play with her throughout college."
by Evan Roberts, Auburn Media Relations
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