SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Catholic’s varsity athlete Lauren Maher is a year-round athlete who reminds us that the adrenaline rush of a sport is nothing without the sense of community that athletics generate.
Kristen, Maher’s older sister, and biggest inspiration, was on her way to soccer tryouts when she encouraged then nine-year-old Maher to take up soccer herself. That small dose of sibling bonding jumpstarted Lauren’s athletic career.
Shortly after, Maher joined some of her friends in trying their hand at hoops. Leading into middle and high school, Maher bloomed into an all-year jock as she joined not only the soccer and basketball teams, but her track and field and cross-country team as well.
The Spa Catholic soccer team captain says without hesitation that soccer is her favorite sport. In addition to playing for her school, Maher is also a player for Nirvana 360’s travel soccer team. Nirvana 360 has traveled to Washington D.C and Disney, where they played on the ESPN field.
Even with all the glam that comes with the sport, the engagement with her teammates is a part of what makes her love the game.
“I find it (soccer) the most fun and I connect with my team more. My favorite part about soccer is probably just being able to win with my team.”
Playing and competing all year can be draining for any young athlete. Maher practices on the field, track, court and off, every single day. During basketball season, she only has one day of the week to rest. Luckily Maher has avoided serious injuries due to training herself to recover physically, mentally and by utilizing her strong familial support system.
“They (her family) always come to my games and push me to do better,” said Maher.
Maher is constantly motivated to do better at every meet and game. To get herself in the zone, she feeds off the energy of her teammates to keep her in a good mood and remind her of who she is competing for.
“I don’t know if I have a least favorite part,” said Maher. “I guess if I do something bad and let my team down.”
Maher hopes to continue playing soccer into college and to create more meaningful team connections.