Posted On August 2, 2013 by PUSC
Nicole Spring, a defender for the ‘98 Red team, spent the month of July representing the United States at the 19th Annual Maccabiah Games. Earlier this year Nicole tried out and made the U18 Maccabi USA Jewish National Team. In July, that team traveled to Israel to train for and then compete in the Maccabiah Games, sometimes referred to as the Jewish Olympics. The Maccabi girls soccer team was made up of Jewish soccer players born between 1995 and 1998 from across the country. Nicole was the starting right back for the Maccabi squad. “Our defensive unit was incredibly strong,” Nicole said. “We really communicated well and you would never know that we just started training ten days before the Games.” The results showed. The Maccabi squad played eight games (one exhibition game, six pool play games, and one medal game) and did not let up a single goal in any game. Winning four of their eight games by a 1-0 margin, the strong defense was paramount to success.
Nicole’s experience culminated on July 28tyh when they took on home team Israel in the gold medal game. Team USA scored early on a penalty kick and then Nicole and her teammates continued their shutout streak to hold on for the victory.
“I got to play with new teammates and a new coach and I truly appreciated the opportunity to wear the “USA” jersey. To have the chance to play against squads from Brazil, Israel, Canada, South Africa and other countries was amazing. Meeting student athletes from other countries who love soccer as much as I do was really fun. I made some great new friends. The highlights of the experience were the opening ceremonies and winning the gold medal. The opening ceremonies were surreal. I paraded into Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium with my teammates and more than 1,000 other American Maccabi athletes in front of over 30,000 fans and supporters. I never experienced anything like that before and I do not know if I ever will again. Winning the gold made me so happy. I worked very hard to make the team, get a starting position, and help anchor our strong defense. I felt like winning the gold made it all worth it. Now, I cannot wait to take this experience and apply it on the field with my Placer United team!” —Nicole
Congratulations Nicole on this major accomplishment! We look forward to having you back in your Placer United uniform.